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Faith for All of Life

July/August 2008

Publisher & Chalcedon President


Rev. Mark R. Rushdoony
Chalcedon Vice-President
Martin Selbrede Editorials Columns

Editor 2 From the Founder 12 Reigning Catechisms


Rev. Christopher J. Ortiz The Myth of Politics and Dogmas
Managing Editor
Amy Hauck
4 From the President
Susan Burns A Supernatural View of History 14 Working with Pygmies:
Contributing Editors R. J. Rushdoony, Christianity
Features
Lee Duigon Today, and the Making of
Kathy Leonard 8 Entrepreneurial Dominionism an American Theologian
Christopher J. Ortiz Michael McVicar
Chalcedon Founder
Rev. R. J. Rushdoony 19 Of Squirrels, Socrates,
(1916-2001) 23 The World in God’s Fist:
The Meaning of History and Scripture
was the founder of Chalcedon
Martin G. Selbrede Greg Uttinger
and a leading theologian, church/
state expert, and author of numer- Products
ous works on the application of 28 The Biblical Philosophy
Biblical Law to society. of History and Worldview 33 Catalog Insert
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From the Founder

The Myth of Politics


R. J. Rushdoony

M en usually find
it easier to live
in terms of myths than
into the sovereign of that world. Biblical
faith regards this attempt as in essence
original sin, as man’s effort to be his
the church, shrine, or temple, the state
has been seen as the instrument and
vehicle of man’s salvation. Very often,
truth and reality, be- own god, knowing, or determining for the community, the state, the office, or
cause the myth answers himself, what constitutes good and evil the ruler have been declared divine. The
the dreams and hopes (Gen. 3:5). Biblical faith begins with the old classical theory held that the voice
of man’s being, whereas truth and real- acknowledgment of God as sovereign of the people is the voice of God, vox
ity command and compel rather than and continues with a life based on God’s populi vox Dei. Modern forms of this
gratify man. In the myth, it is the power ultimacy, priority, and law as the condi- thesis include Rousseau’s doctrine of the
and the will of man which realizes itself. tion of existence and its prosperity. general will, belief in the democratic
Basic to the philosophy of magic, from The mythical-magical approach has consensus, and the doctrine of the dicta-
its more crude forms to its modern ex- sought many avenues of expression. An- torship of the proletariat. The transition
pression in Freemasonry, is the famous cient myths, magical practice, secret and from the world of classical antiquity to
sentence, “As my will is, so must (or, illuminist orders, and other such efforts the Middle Ages was a shift, but always
mote, might) it be.” In reality, man is a have marked the history of this perspec- a challenged one, from the state to the
creature, both sinful and limited, and tive. The mythical-magical method church as the redeeming agency and as
the conditions of his life are given; there has often captured the instruments the continuing incarnation of divinity in
are boundaries to his ability to change of Christianity, including the church, action. The modern world has witnessed
reality. Not so in myth. Gerardus van and God is then converted into a great the abandonment of the church for the
der Leeuw (1890–1950) states it clearly: and cosmic resource to be commanded state. In either case, of course, we must
by sovereign man. We then have, not challenge and deny the concept of a
Either by mythical-magical meth- only the extremes of Pelagianism and redeeming institution, order, or society
ods therefore, or theoretically, man
Arianism, the power of positive think- on Biblical grounds.
transforms the world into his world,
ing and possibility thinking, but prayer Second, the state has not only
and himself into its sovereign: this
is the profound religious basis of all and works as means of compelling or served as man’s religious institution,
culture. But faith is essentially hostile to commanding God. Historically, the but it has also been the vessel for his
every form of domination of the world mythical-magical method has perme- mythical-magical faith and method.
without exception, since it regards this ated very diverse peoples, institutions, The clearest expression of this mythical-
as rivalry with God, as pseudo-creation and religions. This should not surprise magical aspect is, first of all, the increas-
whether magical, mythical or rational, us: it is so expressive of original sin that ing reliance on statist fiat. The word fiat,
and opposes itself also to culture, even it arises readily in every context. and the idea, are of critical importance.
to that which is recognized as essentially The great and classical expression of We meet with God’s fiat in Genesis 1:3:
religious, seeking its own way to the the mythical-magical method is poli- “And God said, Let there be light: and
world. It questions, in principle, all tics. In the political order, two major there was light.” The fiats of Genesis
human control: even its own pro-
motives of man merge into one. First, 1 are the creation of a universe out of
nouncements, so far as these necessarily
there is the religious motive. Histori- nothing by the sovereign word of God.
participate in culture, are immediately
disqualified again by faith.1 cally, the sacred community has been an God’s fiats are possible, because God is
important aspect of religion, and, very omnipotent and sovereign, and nothing
We would say, more plainly, that commonly, the state has been seen as is impossible for God (Matt. 19:26). All
myth and Biblical faith are at radical the sacred and redeeming order. Man’s things are totally and absolutely under
odds with one another. The mythical- hope of salvation is held to lie in and His control and government, so that
magical approach is to transform indeed through the activities of the state. Dur- God’s fiats create out of nothing.
the world into man’s world, and man ing history, far more commonly than The fiats of the state are imita-

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tive of God. They seek to create out of mythical-magical perspective, man’s ba- productivity as against political impedi-
nothing, and they are manifestations of sic capital is seen as status, not produc- ments stimulates hostility against these
sovereignty, or the claim of sovereignty. tivity, because status means power. The “exploiters.” They represent an alien
Because God’s fiats require an absolute mythical-magical method has a radically faith and an alien culture, and they are,
power and control, the state aims at a different belief in the necessary ingredi- in their persons and activities, an indict-
like absolute power and control, so that, ents for progress, and its perspective is ment of the myth of politics.
wherever the myth of politics prevails, sharply at odds with the Biblical view. Fourth, in our era, the idea of
totalitarianism is a logical necessity. The In Biblical faith, character and work are myth has gained highly sophisticated if
forms of the total state may vary, but basic to capitalization. In the mythical- erroneous attention. The myth is seen
they will in every instance be similar in magical perspective, moral character and as life-giving, as basic to primeval and
their inherent philosophy and theology. work are divisive and oppressive, and, as primitive aspects of man. Freudian and
Also basic to the divine fiats is an a climaxing evil, anti-equalitarian. other views of the unconscious stress
absence of laborious effort. The creation To illustrate: A rookie professional the role of the myth in the mind and
of Genesis 1 is in each case an instanta- basketball player, a substitute spending unconscious being of man. Because the
neous act, not a process. most of his time on the bench, is paid myth is traced back into the far recesses
Each day of creation week manifests $104,000 a year. A professional enter- of the unconscious, it is held to be basic
fiat power, not laborious work. The tainer pointed out to me recently earns, and real as well as life-giving. Such a
mythical-magical method thus sees the at a minimum, several times that. Well view rests on an evolutionary premise
solutions to man’s problems as power, and good. Both men are meeting a pub- that power comes from below, from the
not work. If sufficient power is concen- lic demand, and those who enjoy their primordial and the ostensibly power-
trated into statist agencies, then all hu- services are paying for them. Basketball ful; it is held to be life-giving because
man problems will be solved, or, at least, players and entertainers are popular and life and power supposedly come from
solvable. Some politicians, and at least respected people in our culture. below. Logically, such a view leads, as
one president, have fostered a vision of This is not true of others. Small it has done, to a revival of occultism.
the end of all poverty, disease, igno- farmers by the thousands work hard, It also leads to the irrationalism of the
rance, and even death, given enough hopeful of earning $15–30,000 a year, myth of politics. The myth, however,
statist power and control. This is and not always succeeding. They are instead of being life-giving, is always
mythological thinking in the extreme. It commonly damned, in our area, as ex- death-dealing. Myths are the destroyers,
rests on the assumption that power, on ploiters of farm workers, despite the fact not the preservers, of man.
the human scene, can be a substitute for, that California farm workers are the best Fifth, philosophically, the ancient
or can create, capital. However, unlike paid in the world. Their relationship to magical principle, “As my will is, so
God’s power, human power is neither workers has become politicized, and, it must be,” has come into its own in
self-generative nor creative. In particu- as a result, they are now villains in this modern philosophy, beginning with
lar, political power does not produce political drama. A capable businessman, Descartes, and especially since Kant and
capital but rather requires its consump- if he earns $25–75,000 yearly, or if an Hegel. The world is now will and idea.
tion. As a result, as political power and executive earns as much as the basketball Van der Leeuw defined the mythical-
political fiats increase, capital decreases. player, is again seen as an exploiter by magical method as one whereby “man
The more nearly totalitarian a state, the many, and his role in the new mythol- transforms the world into his world,
lower its capital and its working capac- ogy is as that of a villain. and himself into its sovereign.” Modern
ity. However, as long as men believe The reason for this inconsistency philosophy has done even more than
in the myth of politics rather than the toward farmer and businessman as transform the world into man’s world: it
God of Scripture, they will call for more against athlete and entertainer is that the has reduced the world to man’s will and
power to the state, and will increase the mythical-magical method and faith are idea, as in Schopenhauer and Nietzsche.
state’s destructive impact on capital and hostile to production and idolize status. Hegel held that the rational is the real,
labor. This belief in power, not work, is The world of politics is the realm of sta- and this is a basic premise of the myth
basic to the mythical-magical method. tus, power, and fiat, whereas work and of politics. The autonomous rational
It is an aspect of the belief that, “As productivity belong to another realm. plans of man, whether of Marxists, Fa-
my will is, so must it be.” Third, in the The very persistent success of work and Continued on page 7

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From the President

A Supernatural View of History


Mark R. Rushdoony

H istory is a frustrat-
ing subject for
many people. For many,
Christ and the beginning of His church
represented the most significant event
of human history. Satan was defeated,
therefore, we should “run with patience
the race that is set before us.” In other
words, the faith, the assumption, these
it is only of interest to redemption was accomplished, and the saints had that God’s promises were
the extent it bears on earth-centered humanistic dream of sure, together with the historical knowl-
one’s personal heritage. a culture without God that Scripture edge of Christ’s finished work and His
It is often seen as boring because it has calls Babylon, and of which Rome was commission to the church, should give
no perceived meaning or relevance. I then a part, was doomed to failure. The us the fortitude of faith that enables us
remember one student in a college class Kingdom of the Messiah would come to live in terms of the certainty that our
on ancient history saying angrily, “This to prominence, though the Roman work in terms of the Kingdom of Jesus
is just a history of war.” He was largely Empire would collapse. This is ex- Christ is not in vain.
correct because, when we view history, actly what the prophets had said would Too many Christians today view the
we often have to focus on the conflicts happen. In terms of the prophesies of world as did Josephus, in terms of the
and who won. The victors, then, invari- Daniel, for instance, Rome had largely Rome of our day. They are focused on
ably write the history books to justify accomplished its role, and the focus of the leaders of our modern Babels who
their actions. history was now on the Kingdom of themselves believe they are controlling
Jesus Christ. Josephus missed all of that history. To do this is, however, to miss
Missing the Big Picture
because he focused on the apparent the ongoing work of God in history and
We have even more difficulty assess-
ing the meaning of contemporary his- power players of his day. their responsibilities in terms thereof. If
tory because we perceive a self-interest Hebrews 12:26–28 refers to the we do not have faith in the God of his-
in the struggle and its outcome. Even work of God in history after Jesus as tory, we will, like Josephus, focus only
when we try to step back and look at a shaking of heaven and earth, the on the men of history. It is for us, rather,
events dispassionately, it is easy to get purpose of which was, “the removing to speak as did the apostles who knew
lost in the details, and we often focus on of those things that are shaken” so “that the power of God and the shaking it
those that seem prominent at the time. those things which cannot be shaken surely represented throughout history.
When we look back at the political and may remain.”
This passage, obviously a synopsis Transcendent or
cultural issues of even a few years ago,
of historical events after Jesus Christ, Immanent Meaning?
we realize that it is not hard to miss the
follows what has been called the “honor How are we to view history, not
forest for the trees when we look for the
important trends of our own day. roll of faith” in Hebrews 11, which lists just that long past, but our own history,
This has always been the case. Jose- historical figures who acted in terms of in fact, all of time? We must begin by
phus, the most important historian of their faith in God. It mentions indi- seeing that time itself is a creation of
first-century Palestine, took little notice viduals from Abel through the prophets God. Scripture gives its beginning at the
of Christ or Christianity. He was Jewish who obeyed God and were blessed and Creation and its end at the final judg-
and had no interest in Christianity, and used by Him. They were individuals ment. Man is constrained because he is
he wrote for a Roman audience so he who stood faithful in faithless times and a finite creature with a finite lifetime in
wrote ably of politics and military cam- ordered their priorities in terms of what this finite world in this finite provision
paigns, the things that mattered to first- they confessed. of God we call time. Contrast that with
century Romans. This narrow perspec- Then, in chapter 12 verse 1, the the comment by Dostoyevsky, who once
tive meant that he failed to appreciate lesson is stated for us: we have their ex- noted that if there is no God, then all
the most important development of his ample behind us and we have the course things are possible. That is the hope of
day. The atoning work of the incarnate that Christ has laid down before us: man in rebellion against God, the dream

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of Babel, a world where anything is pos- all His creation. It presents our history he is not, in fact, a god knowing, or
sible for man. as the outworking of both man’s sin determining, good and evil. The stories
The nonbeliever has a problem with nature and that sovereign God’s gracious of God’s providential movements in his-
history, namely, where does meaning redemption. History is the outwork- tory are to remind us of the fact that He
come from? History is full of billions of ing of man’s position relative to either always controls history. The past is “His
occurrences. The course of history has Genesis 3:5 or Genesis 3:15. Genesis story,” and the future is His will.
often hinged on one particular, seeming- 3:5 was Satan’s bogus offer to man that Without some transcendent pur-
ly minor, event. Without a providential he could be “as gods, knowing good and pose to time and history, all that is left
view of history, it is easy to say history is evil”; Genesis 3:15 was God’s prom- for man in Adam is the moment. The
chance, a parade of random events. That ise that He would send a seed of the past then has no lasting relevance. If
is in fact the conclusion of postmodern- woman to crush Satan. All men are in anything, it becomes a hindrance, a bur-
ism: there is no meaning, no big picture. relation to God either in terms of Adam den to man because its events constrain
If there is no transcendent meaning (sinfulness, the curse, and judgment) or him in the present. The future, then, is
governing history, the only one, if one in terms of Jesus Christ (redemption, either meaningless chance or an artifi-
is possible, must be immanent, present justification, regeneration, and sancti- cially imposed meaning. All that is left
in the cosmos and time-bound. This fication), in terms of covenant faithful- such men is the existential moment, and
can lead me onto two different paths. If ness or covenant rebellion. postmodernism can be seen as no more
history is entirely immanent, it can be Man was created a moral being, and than a form of existentialism.
either ignored as meaningless or seen as despite the Fall remains a moral being, Men in Adam do still love to play as
the sole source of meaning. Take your so man has to accept time, matter, and though they were gods, so the answer of
pick: no meaning in history or all mean- history as moral issues. His understand- some to meaningless time and history
ing within time and history. ing of these things will be in terms of his is the creation of an artificial meaning,
Every denial involves a correspond- relation to God. Man’s problem is his a substitute for the providential view
ing affirmation of some kind. The rebellion against God and the meaning of history by God. Karl Marx tried to
denial of transcendent meaning is often that comes from His sovereign creation impose an artificial historical meaning.
for the purpose of ascribing an im- and providence. That is why the writers Darwin tried to impose an artificial
manent source of meaning. Since the of Hebrews had to remind Christians science and narrative of man’s origins.
Enlightenment, and particularly after to think of the future in terms of their Freud fabricated an interpretation of
Darwin, modern man thinks in terms faith, as did the saints of old. man’s early family experience. What
of a naturalistic faith to explain the big Artificial Meaning man is trying to do when he forces an
picture of life, history, and social order. Given their denial of the God of artificial meaning into time and history
Naturalism explains all things and oc- Scripture, the position of the post- is replace God’s predestination.
currences in terms of the characteristics modernist is a reasonable one because Naturalism presents a world that
inherent in matter. No naturalistic without God, time and history are at lacks meaning, that needs meaning,
ideology can countenance a supernatu- best only empty pages on which man but because it presents no transcendent
ral because naturalism is an affirmation tries to impose an artificial meaning, meaning, it presents an open door to
of a particular faith. The denial of the usually for the purpose of social and contrived meaning, and all naturalistic
supernatural necessitates the affirmation political control. Many years ago history meaning will be immanent and thor-
of the natural. To the extent naturalism was replaced in government schools by oughly humanistic.
claims to give any recognition to the social studies: history and cultures were The naturalistic view of history
supernatural, it usually reduces it to an “studied” to reeducate young men and has man as the interpreter of time and
aspect of the psychology of man, which, women on how they were expected to history. This presumed prerogative is
in reality, makes it naturalistic. think and act in the “social” order the applied to Scripture, which is assumed
The Bible does not give a natu- educators sought to create. to be natural and subject to a rewrite
ralistic view of history. It presents all Man’s life is so short, however, that that excludes the supernatural. The only
human existence in a moral perspective, his artificial meaning rarely outlasts Jesus tolerated is the historical Jesus, one
stemming from a transcendent order the him. Man consistently fails to create a that is entirely human, the product of
source of which is a sovereign God of meaning greater than himself because human history. But this is not the final

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humiliation of Christ. Man knows his to his disciples. These operated with a any possibility of meaning. Darwin
knowledge is always changing, so he religious dedication, an evangelistic zeal, had thrown a bomb into the Enlight-
takes it as his prerogative to make Jesus an ideological devotion to the unfolding enment’s intellectual presuppositions
and Christianity constantly evolving. worker’s paradise he promised. and paved the way for postmodernism’s
Not only has Christ’s relevance and To the Enlightenment’s social evolu- rejection of any meta-narrative.
Christianity evolved, it is said, they tion, Charles Darwin added biological Sigmund Freud then further
must be allowed to continue to evolve. evolution. It was Darwin who embed- discounted man’s reason and even his
The concept of the historical Jesus does ded naturalism in the modern mind. consciousness, saying man was con-
not allow any room for fixed orthodoxy. He represented a new faith in how the trolled by his primitive past. Freud
It is only humanism that has a world operated, a greater antithesis to explained guilt in terms of man’s sup-
problem with meaning in history. The theism. Marx’s belief in revolution was posed subconscious memories of his
Christian faith allows us to live with one that held that the essential power evolutionary beginnings, yet his work
an imperfect understanding of history and force is from below, not above. and its acceptance also represents the
because we know complete and per- Thus Marx welcomed the work of moral character of modern man’s rebel-
fect understanding is in the God who Charles Darwin with delight. Darwin lion against finding meaning in God.
governs history, not in the process itself. provided a reason to believe that power Freud dedicated his life to explaining
The Christian can know there is mean- was from below. Darwin thus changed guilt, yet he never once claimed to be
ing in history without seeking it from man’s view of the past, the future, and able to remedy it. All he offered was a
within history. Transcendent meaning himself. Darwin shifted the West to a naturalistic explanation, and modern
dictates submission in faith; immanent thoroughly naturalistic worldview. man preferred that to repentance and
meaning necessitates that man find that The Chaos of Rebellion faith. Freud gave psychology a thor-
meaning. Humanism is not a monolith, nor oughly humanistic perspective, which
Modern man has increasingly is it a single movement. All forms of men still cling to, but he could not
rejected God as the source of meaning. humanism share a common philo- bring unity to rebellion. The March
The Enlightenment reacted against sophical assumption, a belief in man as 27, 2006, issue of Newsweek published
religion and revelation, and advanced the measure of all things, based on that a chart illustrating twenty-three spin-
science and reason in their place. The promise of Satan in Genesis 3:5. When off revisions of Freud. Once man is the
Enlightenment faith was in nature and men rebel against God’s reality, howev- measure, there can be as many mean-
reason. The Enlightenment’s rejection of er, they do not march in lockstep. They ings as there are men.
Biblical faith was concurrent with a faith run helter-skelter in chaotic panic; they Karl Marx recognized the problem
that law was inherent in nature and that contradict one another constantly. of meaning for modern man, so he
man could discern it by reason. Darwin thoroughly separated avoided trying to find it. Instead, he
Beginning with the French Revolu- modern thought from Christian chose to change things. Marxism is
tion, this shift from Christianity to hu- presuppositions, but in doing so, he now increasingly seen as an artificial
manism quickly sparked revolutions in destroyed the Enlightenment’s basis for construct that only does harm in the
terms of the new view of man and social its brand of humanistic thought. The context of the real world. We must
justice. Karl Marx welcomed revolu- Enlightenment held to natural law and pray that one area of humanism after
tion and saw it as the power that drove the supremacy of man’s reason. Dar- another will soon be regarded as simi-
historical process from one stage to the win destroyed the possibility of relying larly artificial and absurd. The world
next. He even had a perverse version of on either, because his view on man’s does not need humanism’s artificial
the Kingdom of Heaven in his belief origins described nature as chaotic and meanings. Man needs the truth that
that communism would usher in the man’s reason as an evolutionary late- there is a sovereign God. The answer to
final stage of social evolution. For his comer; after Darwin neither nature nor a world without meaning, or with an
followers, meaning was in Marx’s dog- reason could be the basis for anything. artificially imposed one, is still found
ma. Communism was a “moral” force. Darwin’s foundation of biological in God. Of course, this is a meaning
Revolution was the power from below evolution became not the basis for a man fears because it is a moral meaning
that forced history forward to its prede- great new beginning for man, but the against which he is in rebellion.
termined climax, which Marx revealed cause of an emerging loss of belief in The ugly reality of artificial mean-

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ing imposed on time and history is The world of humanism is in crisis.
that it inevitably means imposing, like As many of us saw the Soviet Union
Marxism, not only meaning on, but collapse, we will see the further disin- The Only Systematic
also control over, man. Just as God’s
predestination implies God’s provi-
tegration of a civilization built upon a
repudiation of God and His Word. The
Theology that is
dence and governing, so man’s predes- mythologies of modern man will fail Reformed,
tination implies man’s governing, man’s him, but this must be seen as part of the
control. great shaking spoken of in Hebrews. Theonomic,
Modern humanism has been very Christians all have a dual citizen- Postmillennial and
hard on humanity. Back in the 1960s ship, and our Lord was very clear as to
when humanistic clichés were regarded our primary allegiance. It is our part to Presuppositional.
with reverential deference, cartoonist seek first the Kingdom of God and His
Charles Schulz once had one of his righteousness so that we will be part of
characters admit, “I love mankind, it’s “those things which cannot be shaken”
people I can’t stand!” According to Gil and which will remain.
Elliot’s Twentieth Century Book of the
Dead, in the twentieth century, a higher R. J. Rushdoony … Myth cont. from page 3
percentage of the world’s population bian socialists, or democratic planners,
died at the hands of other men than in are real and need only formulation and
any other century in recorded history. power to be transferred to the physical
Flight from Reality world and society. If this rational plan
Naturalism seeks meaning within fails to work, according to the rationale
the confines of time and matter, but it of the myth of politics, it is because of
cannot find meaning, only a flight from evil men, counterrevolutionists, capital- By R. J. Rushdoony. Theology
the reality of a world that is governed by ists, foreign influences, alien peoples, belongs in the pulpit, the school,
its Creator and His law. This is the mes- speculators, or some like and ostensibly the workplace, the family and
sage of Scripture, and is why it begins demonic obstruction. everywhere. Society as a whole
with God as the Creator and ends with Such mythical thinking means that, is weakened when theology is
Him on the throne of heaven. because the rational is the real, and be- neglected. Without a system-
When man rejects this mean- cause the planner is by definition the ra- atic application of theology, too
ing, he has to make up his own. Man tional and the real man, the obstructing often people approach the Bible
thus creates modern superstitions and people are both irrational and somehow with a smorgasbord mentality,
mythologies by which he teaches and not the real people. The “real” people picking and choosing that which
reinforces them. These irrationalities are agree with the plan, because the plan is pleases them. This two-volume
then projected onto reality. The Enlight- rational, and the rational is the real. The set addresses this subject in
enment thinkers developed a mytho- result, in the name of reason, is legisla- order to assist in the application
logical source of law and social order. tion against the free market, against free of the Word of God to every area
Darwin created a biological mythology speech, against free men in essence, and of life and thought.
of origins. Freud created a mythol- finally the totally “rational” slave state
and the triumph of myth and unreason Hardback, 1301 pages,
ogy of psychology and anthropology.
in the name of reason. indices, $70.00 per set
Marx created a mythology of historical
In our present day, the myth of poli- Save on the price of this
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The world is full of men and women myths. Of all mankind’s many myths, larger order and pay less!
who see the events around them as did none has been more destructive. See our catalog starting on
Josephus. They see what man the rebel 1. Gerardus van der Leeuw, Religion in page 33.
is doing, not God, and so they miss the Essence and Manifestation (New York:
most important trends of history. Macmillan, 1938), 560.

www.chalcedon.edu July/August 2008 | Faith for All of Life 7


Featured Article

Entrepreneurial Dominionism
Christopher J. Ortiz

W isdom, as I stated
in the last issue,
is God’s technology.1
engaged Adam in labor; and when a
companion was created for him, even
she was categorized as a “help meet”
they take whatever work is available and
labor becomes meaningless drudgery. In
addition, many of these less fortunate
It is the hidden glory (Gen. 2:18). In short, work and mission souls are also devoutly religious, and
that permeates creation were central to man and history. God typically escapist, viz. they await deliver-
and is waiting for man was an entrepreneur, and He intended ance to heaven instead of cultivating
to discover. Wisdom was in the “other that His highest creation would follow godly rule. This is the end result of work
trees” that Adam and Eve could freely suit in the family business. Christ made without eschatology:
eat (Gen. 2:16), but they chose a forbid- this doubly clear when He testified that [I]n the Bible work is eschatological in
den wisdom, which instead of “making He must be about His Father’s business meaning. It has a goal, the Kingdom of
them wise” (Gen. 3:6), brought them a (Luke 2:49). God. Work can be drudgery, a neces-
frustrating awareness of their nakedness. An entrepreneur is one who starts sary means of survival, or work can be
This sin consciousness moved them and operates an enterprise. God more a means of dominion and subduing the
away from the center of the garden to than fits this definition, but the entre- earth (Gen. 1:26–28). Work can be a
hide among the trees—the trees they means of maintaining life and no more,
preneurial notion was somewhat lost in
should have been exploring. or work can be the means of creating the
contemporary definitions of dominion. future. Work thus can be done simply
The center of the garden was the Man’s great dominion calling is miscon- to maintain the status quo, or it can be
established beachhead for God’s great strued when defined exclusively as po- the means of determining our tomor-
dominion enterprise for man. His intent litical, viz. a “world takeover.” In reality, rows. Where work is eschatologically
was that Adam and Eve utilize the trust- that has always been the working prem- governed by the dominion mandate,
ee family2 to work with the raw stuff of ise of elitism: power over others without it is constructive of things present and
creation, glean the principles of technol- work. This is an ungodly dominionism. future … Work only comes into its
ogy (wisdom), and create godly civiliza- As Rushdoony notes: “Elitism is a form own when it is eschatological. To build
tion. Adam would not be told directly of abdication of responsibility in favor a house, plant a tree, and till a garden
what to do; he would have to labor in has a future orientation. The world
of control and power.”3 was not empty when we came into it,
thought and experimentation to extract Godly dominion is a work-oriented
the undiscovered laws of architecture, and it must not be more empty for our
sense of responsibility toward God coming. We work to establish God’s
philosophy, mathematics, physics, and that is eschatological in nature. It has ordained future, His Kingdom. Where
agriculture. But as God told Isaiah
a historical goal: it’s working solely in work is systematically eschatological,
regarding the farmer who learns by trial it is also blessed. Work must always
terms of the realized Kingdom of God.
and error, “This also cometh forth from have a purpose greater than ourselves.6
On the other hand, “The goal of elitism
the LORD of hosts, which is wonderful (emphasis in the original)
is power, control, and money, to gain
in counsel, and excellent in working”
social status,”4 i.e., to establish domin- Godly dominion avoids the error
(Isa. 28:29).
ion in terms of man and his leisure. of elitism and escapism by emphasizing
The Kingdom: And “when the elite becomes a leisure the entrepreneurial nature of extending
God’s Family Business class, we have a society of culture in its godly rule, i.e., future-oriented work for
The dominion mandate was es- decline.”5 the sole benefit of the Kingdom of God.
sentially an entrepreneurial calling. But the sin does not lie only at the It is as we consider innovative means to
Although man’s ultimate employer was door of elitism. There is a great depreci- advancing the Kingdom with our pres-
God Himself, Adam was very much ation of godly dominion in the working ent resources that we are acting entre-
on his own in terms of the discovery class also. For them, work is reduced to preneurial. This is not about takeover,
and work process. God immediately survival, and without developed skills, or dominating others. Dominion is a

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Faith for All of Life
comprehensive expression of God’s rule the face of the deep. And the Spirit Wilderness Thinking
in every sphere of life. We are witnessing of God moved upon the face of the vs. Promised Land Living
this now as great energy and invest- waters. And God said, Let there be For the children of Israel, the
ment is pouring into Christian film, light: and there was light. And God wilderness sojourn was an era fraught
media, education, science, business, and saw the light, that it was good: and with difficulties, rebellion, and judg-
invention. Much of the Religious Right God divided the light from the ment. The 490 years spent in Egyptian
is statist to the core, but a great troop darkness. And God called the light bondage fortified a slave’s mentality in a
of eclectic godly entrepreneurs is now Day, and the darkness he called vast population that God intended for
moving into the fray. Night. And the evening and the dominion. They were also susceptible to
morning were the first day. (Gen. rebellion because they were accustomed
The Power to Create
1:2–5) (emphasis added) to abiding in a welfare state where more
What is needed now is an entre-
was accomplished by complaint than
preneurial dominionism that pursues When God first addressed the earth,
labor. Jethro—Moses’ father-in-law—
creative means to advancing the reign it was without form and void. In other
was the first to recognize this when he
of Christ in every sphere of life. For too words, it was without definition and
observed “that Moses sat to judge the
long unregenerate men have dominated distinction. When things are dark and
people: and the people stood by Moses
in entrepreneurial creativity because formless, you can’t make out what you’re
from the morning unto the evening”
their atheism permits them to go much seeing. That was the state of the world
(Exod. 18:13). When you see long lines,
further in the development of world on the first day of creation. God, as
you know you’re in a welfare state.7
resources. Diligent Christians should be Creator, provided definition by creating
God provided for the Israelites by
dominating in creativity because part of a division—or distinction—between the a system of miracles. Manna fell daily
being made in God’s image is carrying day and the night. He did this by first from the sky, and water spewed from a
on the work of creation: creating light. Notice that He didn’t say, rock. He guided them those forty years
And out of the ground the LORD “Let there be darkness.” He needed only by means of two giant pillars: one a
God formed every beast of the to add the light. cloud by day and one of fire by night.
field, and every fowl of the air; Notice also that after He divided the All this would change when they crossed
and brought them unto Adam to light from the darkness, He called, or the river Jordan and entered Canaan.
see what he would call them: and named, the light Day; and He called, or
whatsoever Adam called every And the manna ceased on the mor-
named, the darkness Night. The power
living creature, that was the name row after they had eaten of the old
to name is a work of creation in that you
thereof. (Gen. 2:19) corn of the land; neither had the
are creating distinction that did not pre-
children of Israel manna any more;
The power of speech and concep- viously exist. In Adam’s case, although
but they did eat of the fruit of the
tual thought was given to man, not God had already created the beasts and
land of Canaan that year. (Josh.
the animals. Both were formed out of birds, they too were formless and void be-
5:12)
the dust of the ground, but Adam was cause they had no distinction. They had
clearly given the dominant role in that not yet been named. The pillars of cloud and fire also dis-
his first assignment was to name the oth- Adam was continuing the work of appeared, and there was no more rock
er creatures God created. The Bible does creation as God’s dominion man by from which to draw water. They would
not provide the details as to how Adam utilizing wisdom to bring order and now have to collect the water from the
did this naming, but we do know that distinction to the mass of beasts. This abundant supply of Canaan:
naming is an intellectual and creative continues today as new technologies, For the LORD thy God bringeth
act. Although God rested on the seventh services, and creations are established thee into a good land, a land of
day from all His work (Gen. 2:2), man’s and the community of man grants them brooks of water, of fountains and
work had just begun, and Adam’s initial a name and a right to exist. Man is depths that spring out of valleys
task was strikingly similar to God’s first intrinsically entrepreneurial, and a great and hills. (Deut. 8:7)
day: deal of his religious history was devoted Much could be said about the
And the earth was without form, to preparing him for that dominion dramatic transition into the Promised
and void; and darkness was upon calling. Land. It was a land that had to be

www.chalcedon.edu July/August 2008 | Faith for All of Life 9


Faith for All of Life
cultivated. Forests had to be cleared; The danger was their concluding: The obvious implication is that the
houses had to be built; and there was “My power and the might of mine hand power God granted the Israelites to produce
a host of diverse enemy nations scat- hath gotten me this wealth” (v. 17, em- wealth in the Promised Land was just as
tered throughout the territory. And phasis added). So it would seem, since miraculous as the displays of power in the
for a people used to a long season of they were the ones now laboring six long wilderness! The danger was in their see-
slavery, and a long season of miracles, days per week. This was hardly bread ing the world as governed by the work
hard work and warfare hardly sounded falling from the sky or water coming of their hand instead of the powerful
like a Promised Land. If they thought from a rock. No sir, the days of God’s hand of God. Simply because their new
they were better off in Egypt when they power were over. Everything would now existence consisted of law-keeping and
struggled in the wilderness, they may come by the strength of man’s hand. labor did not mean those days were any
also have thought the miracle provisions less miraculous, or powerful. Every day
Power to Get Wealth
of the wilderness were far better than is filled with the power of God enabling
pulling twelve-hour days to establish a But thou shalt remember the us to accrue dominion—“it is he that
new homestead. To succeed, they could LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth.”
not allow their wilderness thinking to giveth thee power to get wealth, Still, you can see how the Israelites
govern their Promised Land living. that he may establish his covenant facing an untamed wilderness after
which he sware unto thy fathers, as crossing the Jordan is a similar image
Don’t Forget the Lord Thy God it is this day. (Deut. 8:18) to that of Adam and Eve facing the
Without the pillars to guide them,
When your bread is falling from the untamed creation after being given
their national direction would now be
sky, it would be difficult to forget that their dominion mandate. Both were
determined exclusively by the law of
it is the Lord who gives you power to called to dominion, and therefore both
God. Their existence would now take
get wealth. Imagine if an angel brought were entrepreneurial. The world was
on a seemingly “non-miraculous”—or to be cultivated for the glory of God,
you a paycheck each Friday, or a host
non-spiritual—nature. Their provision and man was to exhaust the resources
of angels built your home for you. It
would come from the good land God through rigorous thought and labor in
would be hard to forget that the Lord
provided and the labor they exerted. order to master creation by means of
was giving you power to get wealth.
They were to dig brass from the hills wisdom: God’s technology.
However, by the sweat of their
(Deut. 8:9) and multiply their herds,
brows, the children of Israel would
flocks, silver, and gold by the work of The Reign of Craftsmen
exploit the vast resources of the Prom-
their hands (v. 13). This—God knew— I define technology as the practice
ised Land. And after years of hard work,
would bring another potential area of of creating visible things with invisible
they could easily begin to think that it
transgression: forgetting Him. means. This is a creative act in the same
was their power bringing them their
Beware that thou forget not the sense of Hebrews 11:3, which declares
great wealth. The Hebrew word used
LORD thy God, in not keeping that our faith is founded upon the idea
for power here is kowach, and it means a
his commandments, and his judg- that “what is seen was not made out of
productive force. It’s the same term used
ments, and his statutes, which I what was visible” (NIV). In other words,
in passages describing God’s miracle
command thee this day: lest when we are to model analogically the creative
power:
thou hast eaten and art full, and process of God by creating visible things
And because he loved thy fathers, with the invisible means of wisdom,
hast built goodly houses, and dwelt
therefore he chose their seed after knowledge, and understanding—what
therein; and when thy herds and
them, and brought thee out in his the world refers to as technology.
thy flocks multiply, and thy silver
sight with his mighty power out In the New Testament, the root
and thy gold is multiplied, and all
of Egypt. (Deut. 4:37, emphasis word techne is used in various forms for
that thou hast is multiplied; then
added) the idea of craft or craftsman. The word
thine heart be lifted up, and thou
forget the LORD thy God, which He hath shewed his people the means artificer, or artisan, and is also
brought thee forth out of the land power of his works, that he may translated as art. Consider the following
of Egypt, from the house of bond- give them the heritage of the hea- passages in light of that meaning:
age. (Deut. 8:11–14) then. (Ps. 111:6, emphasis added) Forasmuch then as we are the

10 Faith for All of Life | July/August 2008 www.chalcedon.edu


Faith for All of Life
offspring of God, we ought not to And in order to follow Him properly, ing sizable problems for you.
think that the Godhead is like unto we must determine two essential items: You have six days per week to both
gold, or silver, or stone, graven by (1) How did God create His enterprise? do your present work and invest in edu-
art [techne] and man’s device. (Acts (2) What was His work ethic? The cating yourself in another skill, enhanc-
17:29) former I covered in my previous article ing your existing skill set, or creating
“Wisdom the Principal Thing,” where something new. Dr. Gary North has
And because he [Paul] was of the
I demonstrated that God used wisdom, written on this repeatedly9 by recom-
same craft [techne], he abode with
knowledge, and understanding to create mending that people invest an extra
them, and wrought: for by their
the universe.8 The latter—His work twenty hours per week on something
occupation [techne] they were tent-
ethic—forms the essential structure of other than their present job—something
makers. (Acts 18:3)
our life calendars: that could be turned into a business.
For a certain man named Dem- And on the seventh day God ended You can also be creative in that time by
etrius, a silversmith, which made his work. (Gen. 2:2a) writing novels, making films, creating
silver shrines for Diana, brought videos, investigating a scientific prob-
no small gain unto the craftsmen Six days shalt thou labour, and do lem, or simply tinkering in the garage.
[technites]; whom he called together all thy work. (Exod. 20:9) The only requirement is that you do it
with the workmen of like occupa- God, using His wisdom, knowl- with an eschatological purpose in mind,
tion [techne], and said, Sirs, ye edge, and understanding, created His i.e., the Kingdom of God. As I stated in
know that by this craft [techne] we enterprise in the span of a six-day the previous article, we cannot confuse
have our wealth. (Acts 19:24–25) workweek. This is our model. Granted, the means with the end. The end is the
Notice that Demetrius concludes we do not have the preexisting wisdom, realized Kingdom of God in history; the
that by his techne, or craft, he has his knowledge, or understanding, nor do means are such things as our personal
wealth. The predictability of the world is we have the power to accomplish so enterprises.
seen as natural, and no acknowledgment much in one week—the comparison is Begin Today
of God’s power is recognized. Demetrius simply analogical. God is the archetypi- Adam’s calling was to investigate
believes his craft is simply a natural fact cal entrepreneur from which we will what God had hidden in the “other
of his own being, and not a result of pattern our efforts. trees,” but this required leaving the for-
God’s creative power. To be a true tech- Therefore, education is primary bidden tree alone. In his disobedience,
nite means to be versed in a creative skill because this is how we gain our wisdom, Adam forsook the entrepreneurial call-
that exhausts the resources of creation in knowledge, and understanding. This is ing, and much of church history has fol-
order to further the reign of God. Chris- how we glean the technology to create lowed suit. All the while, the unbeliever,
tians must be pursuant of God’s hidden our own enterprises. And let me make because of his atheism, embraces the
wisdom instead of remaining chained to absolutely clear that being entrepre- world as it’s given to him and exhausts
the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and neurial does not mean quitting your its possibilities. Like Demetrius, fallen
Evil. We’re identified as moralists when day job and starting a business. You can man sees his craft (techne) as the source
we should also be seen as inventors, art- be entrepreneurial in whatever capacity of his wealth. He believes he has power
ists, craftsman, etc., not merely baptizers you find yourself. It is any expression in himself to create, and the power is
of existing crafts already well developed of independent creativity that produces from him, not God. The Christian
by unbelievers. something that did not previously ex- tends only to see the power of God dis-
ist. You can easily do this as a spouse played in miracles and neglects the daily
God, the Entrepreneur
in your home or as a subordinate at infusion of power given by God to take
For he looked for a city which your job. By practicing entrepreneurial dominion by faithful labor. We have
hath foundations, whose builder dominionism, you are creating value suffered from a “wilderness mentality”
[technite] and maker is God. (Heb. for yourself, and your value is always instead of operating in “Promised Land
11:10) determined by your contribution, or thinking.”
The ultimate craftsman—the One the problems you solve. That’s why you Our daily lives are just as mi-
whom we follow—is God. He is the pay your doctor or lawyer more than a raculous as Israel’s wilderness sojourn.
model for the entrepreneurial calling. waiter. The doctor and lawyer are solv- Continued on page 22

www.chalcedon.edu July/August 2008 | Faith for All of Life 11


Guest Column

Reigning Catechisms and Dogmas


Amy Hauck

I n 1908 William inheritance with her as she moves out Christian parents that if they say the
Booth, founder and into this world to transform it and claim right prayer, read the right books, and
general of the Salvation Christ’s victory over it, who will stand recite positive slogans, they are doing
Army, said, “I consider with her? The world will offer her a something meaningful. And they leave
that the chief dangers plethora of paths to “enlightenment” it to the next generation to arrange the
which confront the while scoffing at the true path her spiritual furniture in their own lives as
coming century will be religion without parents have set her upon. Will she walk they see fit. These parents leave no path
the Holy Ghost, Christianity without this path with a few, or could a whole in the shifting sands feng shui faith rests
Christ, forgiveness without repentance, generation walk with her down the well- upon. Their children are left to find
salvation without regeneration, politics worn path our forefathers paved? their own self-help books and slogans.
without God, and Heaven without R. J. Rushdoony says that “Chris- Yet there exists a blessed path many
Hell.” tian creedalism is [thus] basic to West- saints have traveled throughout history.
ern activism, constitutionalism, and It echoes with the voices of thousands
In 2006 New Age guru Sylvia
hope concerning history.”3 He also ob- of mothers and fathers telling their chil-
Browne said, “We believe that our Lord
serves that “the modern era has seen the dren the old, old story, reciting the an-
was crucified, but did not die on the
growing irrelevance of Christian faith cient creeds, and asking their covenant
cross. Instead, he went on to live his life
and doctrine to the world in general.”4 children, “What is your only comfort in
in France with his mother and Mary
The ignorance many evangelicals today life and in death?” This is our children’s
Magdalene, his wife.”1
have of church history is a sad testament inheritance. When we recite these
Last month, television icon Oprah
to the truth of Rushdoony’s statements. ancient creeds and confessions, we are
Winfrey said, “God in the essence of all
Yet over the history of Christendom uniting ourselves with such a cloud of
consciousness isn’t something to believe,
the church has spoken to the world witnesses that dared to speak light into
God is; and God is a feeling experience, darkness, truth before lies, and life to
through its creeds and confessions. As
not a believing experience … If God for the dying. Why would we not celebrate
Rushdoony says, “The creed is the door
you is still about a belief, then it’s not to the house of faith.”5 these treasures? Why would we rob our
truly God.”2 Many have abandoned this door. children of them? These are the words
And this morning in a small room Fathers and mothers neglect to teach the of a robust and vital faith! These are the
in the back of a Christian home, a little creeds or catechize their children. Many ideas and truths that have changed the
girl stood proudly before her mother children grow up never learning of world. In the hearts and mouths of our
and stated, “I believe in God the Father church history and never knowing their covenant children, they can change the
Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. rich inheritance. world again! 
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Eschewing the great resources Parents must encourage their cov-
Lord; who was conceived by the Holy handed down from generation to enant children to “[f ]ight the good fight
Ghost, born of the virgin Mary; suf- generation, evangelicals today have been of the faith. Take hold of the eternal
fered under Pontius Pilate, was cruci- led astray by fads, crazes, and insipid life to which you were called when
fied, dead, and buried. He descended bestsellers by “Christotainers” peddling you made your good confession in the
into hell; the third day He rose from self-help humanism sprinkled with presence of many witnesses” (1 Tim.
the dead; He ascended into heaven; twisted Scripture. “Remember, God has 6:12 NIV). Imagine a whole generation
and sitteth at the right hand of God the put in you everything you need to live of God’s people who speak the same
Father Almighty.” a victorious life,” grins one such “pop” spiritual language; who grew up on the
While the little girl learning the preacher.6 These gurus of Gnosticism stories of the heroes of the faith, facing
creeds of the church will bring a rich sell a feng shui–style faith that tells down heresy and giving their lives for

12 Faith for All of Life | July/August 2008 www.chalcedon.edu


Faith for All of Life
the church and the Word of God; a sion. But Deborah assured God’s people will not glory because I am righteous,
whole generation who cherishes the that He had given them the victory. And but I will glory because I am redeemed.
confessions and creeds of the church, victory did come. Sisera’s iron chariots I will not glory because I am free from
and most importantly, applies them to became obsolete as soon as the rains sin, but because my sins are forgiven.”11
society. came. Stuck in the mud, they ceased to We must equip our children with
Pray God will raise up a generation intimidate. Isn’t God amazing? When the creeds, councils, confessions, and
who with one voice will confess, “We, we might have reached for a nuke, God history of the church. As the Reformers
then following the holy Fathers, all sends the rain. knew so well, we cannot fight some-
with one consent, teach men to confess Today the chariots of humanism thing with nothing. The church, indeed
one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus are poised to overrun our children with all of society, suffers when Christians do
Christ, the same perfect in manhood; their own creeds and beliefs. “The not apply their faith to all of life. But
truly God and truly man, of a reason- creed of the state therefore requires holy how can we expect our children to do so
able soul and body.”7 And pray that warfare against the Christian creed and if they don’t know what they believe and
God will give mothers and fathers a faith.”9 Yet we should see our enemies why they believe it? They may know a
passion for and the diligence to train up as already stuck in the mud. “[H]ath song or two or even a prayer by Jabez,
their children in the way they should go. not God made foolish the wisdom of but they don’t know how to apply their
Rushdoony says, “The foundation this world?” (1 Cor. 1:20). God has faith to change the world. The confes-
of true social order can only be in the already sent the rain onto the battlefield. sions and creeds of the church were used
triune God and His enscriptured truth “Through God we shall do valiantly: by our forefathers to defend the faith,
and word.”8 So how can we hope, how for He it is that shall tread down our stabilize society, and change the world.
can we pray, how can we believe in enemies” (Ps. 60:12). So now we must Today the iron chariots of our
God’s Kingdom coming, His will being engage the enemy. It will be the vibrant, enemies have sent the church fleeing
done on earth as it is in heaven, if we strong faith of our fathers that will the battlefield. We must fill our children
do not pass on these foundations for prevail and strengthen the hearts of the with the Word of God and look to the
social order to our children? Human- next generation. rich inheritance our forefathers have
ism and the myriad other -isms du jour Let us be aware of the high price left us to build their faith. What can
of this world are waiting to devour our society pays when we fail to honor the dusty old church history offer a Chris-
children. lives, words, and deeds of the saints who tian soldier facing down iron chariots
It won’t be a feng shui faith that have given so much to the faith. “Shall of unbelief and humanism? Its reigning
defeats the enemies of Christ. It will thy wonders be known in the dark? and catechisms and dogmas.
be a faith that stands on the Word of thy righteousness in the land of forget- Amy Hauck, and her husband, Bill, are the
God, the faith that is elucidated in the fulness?” (Ps. 88:12). If the creed is the blessed parents of five children. Amy divides
creeds and confessions and is illustrated door to the house of faith, let us swing her time between homeschooling the kids
in the lives of the saints. The faith that open the door and explore every room and working from their home in Myrtle
reminds our children that true faith is a in that house. Beach, SC as a freelance Christian writer.
knowledge and conviction that every- Rushdoony’s words should em- 1. Sylvia Browne, If You Could See What
thing God reveals in His Word is true bolden faithful fathers and mothers as I See: The Tenants of Novus Spiritus (Hay
and everything not in conformity to His they train up the next generation: “The House Books, 2006).
Word is false. As Rushdoony warns, it salvation of man is to declare the Bibli- 2 Oprah Winfrey in Internet interview with
is our lack of fidelity to the training of cal creeds, to confess the triune God Eckhart Tolle, March 2008.
our children in the creeds, confessions, and to find in Him salvation, liberty, 3. R. J. Rushdoony, The Foundations of
and history of the church that has had a and life. When man declares, ‘I believe Social Order (Vallecito, CA: Ross House
detrimental effect on all of society. Our …’ he becomes the confessor of God’s Books, 1998), 8.
children face an enemy they are ill- glory and God’s truth, and the recipi- 4. Ibid., 1.
equipped to engage. ent of God’s grace and prosperity.”10 5. Ibid., 3.
Long ago, the iron chariots of Our children are the next generation of 6. Joel Osteen, introduction to Become a
Sisera’s army faced down the children of confessors of God’s glory, and thus let Better You (Free Press, 2007).
Israel. Defeat seemed a foregone conclu- them glory along with St. Ambrose, “I Continued on page 22

www.chalcedon.edu July/August 2008 | Faith for All of Life 13


Guest Column

Working with Pygmies: R. J. Rushdoony,


Christianity Today, and the
Making of an American Theologian
Michael J. McVicar

R . J. Rushdoony was always an can better understand how deftly he zine and closed with this solicitation: “I
outsider. In the earliest days of cultivated his ideas and succeeded in would like to have you suggest articles
his ministry he served as missionary presenting them to a broad audience in which you might like to contribute to
to an isolated Indian community in spite of the dedication of his enemies our new magazine … It is my hope that
Owyhee, Nevada; in his later minis- and his own habit of forsaking popular- you will accede to our requests.”3
try he severed ties with the Orthodox ity for theological purity. Rushdoony accepted Kik’s invita-
Presbyterian Church in order to write tion because, like many theologically
Combining the Best in Liberalism conservative clergy of his day, Rush-
and research freely; as a theologian he
didn’t hesitate to draw sharp distinctions with the Best in Fundamentalism doony perceived Christianity Today as
between himself and his critics, even if Perhaps no single national Christian a response to the creeping liberalism
these distinctions cut him off from the publication was more prominent in the embodied in other national Christian
institutions and recognition that a less mid-twentieth-century struggle to create publications such as The Christian
principled man might covet. In short, a coalition of theologically conservative, Century. Thus, although the magazine
Rushdoony often found himself on the socially aware Protestants than Christi- was not “as Calvinist as I would like
cusp of the theological mainstream, anity Today. Billy Graham and a group it,”4 Rushdoony supported the publica-
ready to burst onto the national stage as of financial supporters founded the tion with short articles, book reviews,
a major Reformed thinker, only to draw magazine in 1956 to “plant the evangeli- and freelance editorial work. In return,
back based on his own principles or to cal flag in the middle of the road, taking Christianity Today ran favorable reviews
have others collude against him to deny a conservative theological position but a of Rushdoony’s early books, including
a wider audience for his ideas. definite liberal approach to social prob- Freud, Intellectual Schizophrenia, and By
Nowhere is this more clearly il- lems. It would combine the best in lib- What Standard?
lustrated than in Rushdoony’s long-run- eralism and the best in fundamentalism As a capable popularizer of the
ning and often heated confrontations without compromising theologically.”2 difficult ideas of Cornelius Van Til,
with the neo-evangelical publication, Since its founding, the magazine has Christianity Today’s editors specifically
Christianity Today. Through his engage- consistently popularized a theologically sought out Rushdoony to help edit and
ment with “the flagship publication of conservative, socially relevant brand of clarify the Westminster theologian’s
mainstream evangelicalism,”1 Rush- fundamentalism that has since come to submissions. In one note soliciting
doony walked a precarious line be- be known as neo-evangelicalism. Rushdoony’s aid, Kik explained, “Both
tween national notoriety and grassroots The publication’s editors sought out Carl Henry and myself have struggled
obscurity. theological conservatives and invited with [Van Til’s manuscript] in order to
After initially cultivating a rela- articles on any number of issues. They clarify it. Since you have clarified the
tionship fraught with economic and were particularly interested in critics of writing of Van Til previously, I thought
theological potential, Christianity Today theological modernism. Not surprising- the best thing we could do is to send it
covertly worked to suppress Rush- ly, in 1957 associate editor Dr. J. Mar- to you to work over. Please remember
doony’s ideas. When obfuscation failed, cellus Kik sent Rushdoony, then known 95% of our readers have no knowledge
the publication turned to outright primarily as a promising young critic what geschichte is. Anything you can do
attack, only to have Rushdoony emerge of modernism and secular education, a to clarify will be helpful.”5 Rushdoony
as a more significant figure. By closely letter announcing the launch of the new fulfilled this request along with many
analyzing Rushdoony’s conflicts with venture. Kik invited Rushdoony to write others, but over time his impatience
Christianity Today and its editors, we an article for an early issue of the maga- with the editors began to grow.

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Faith for All of Life
During the first decade of Rush- tions that many ministers had about and development of our Church down
doony’s relationship with Christian- businessmen.”8 During his tenure as the through the ages,” Pew wrote to Rush-
ity Today, he alternately assumed the chairman of the National Lay Com- doony shortly after Kik’s death, “I was
antagonistic roles of good-cop/bad-cop mittee of the National Council of the wondering if you would like to continue
with the magazine’s editors. In one Churches of Christ, Pew attempted to Dr. Kik’s work.”13 Rushdoony eagerly
memorable harbinger of animosities combat what he saw as a pronounced responded, “I am honored that you are
to come, Rushdoony criticized the socialistic drift in American clergy. considering me to continue Dr. Kik’s
editors’ decision to publish a favorable According to one biographer, Pew work, and am greatly interested.”14
review of the writings of the Southern fortified his Lay Committee as a bul- While Pew vetted Rushdoony as
novelist William Faulkner. After citing wark against clerical liberalism, both po- Kik’s potential successor, he moved to
a vivid inventory of the vulgar evils in litical and theological.9 From 1950 until give Rushdoony a prominent national
Faulkner’s work, Rushdoony concluded, 1955, Pew used his chairmanship to platform in the pages of Christianity
“I maintain that the defense of or liking defend “the principle that the Christian Today. On Monday, February 12, 1966,
for Faulkner is a sign of moral and spiri- churches should not become involved in Rushdoony flew from Los Angeles to
tual degeneracy … and that Christianity economic and political controversy” and Phoenix for a private audience with Pew.
Today has no moral right to protest filth to resist any intermingling of the church Though the exact substance of the con-
on the newsstands and then give such and the state.10 Indeed, as his defiant versation is unclear, the two discussed
prominence to Faulkner. I realize that final report to the National Coun- Rushdoony’s desire to start a Christian
the editors have probably not themselves cil insisted, “Our premise was that, college and Rushdoony’s replacement
read Faulkner or they would not have instead of appealing to government, of Kik. During the meeting, Pew also
accepted the article.”6 the church should devote its energies to solicited a series of four articles on the
If Rushdoony meant this final the work of promoting the attributes of topic of “The Mediator: Christ or the
sentence as a rebuke of the intellectual Christianity—truth, honesty, fairness, Church?” The articles would, in Pew’s
vapidity of Christianity Today’s editors, generosity, justice and charity—in the words, address “the need of the church
they hardly noticed. Instead, Kik admit- hearts and minds of men. We attempted to keep out of economic, social and
ted that he and others at the magazine to emphasize that Christ stressed not political affairs.”15 Pew hoped to run the
had never read Faulkner. “If the editors the expanded state but the dignity articles in Christianity Today, believing
had read William Faulkner’s works,” Kik and responsibility of the individual.”11 they could counteract the liberal drift
began, “and they are as you described Although the National Council man- he perceived in the journal’s editorial
them, you may be assured this article
aged to part ways with Pew’s pesky Lay direction.
never would have appeared in our maga-
Committee in 1955, Pew continued
zine.”7 This embrace of ignorance by the Failed Mediations
his quest to resist theological and social
magazine’s editors ultimately led Rush- Pew clearly intended the “Mediator”
liberalism in the church. To this end, he
doony to question its intellectual value. series to highlight the young theologian’s
often used his financial influence over
Similarly, the editors grew to resent his skepticism of clerical activism, and the
Christianity Today to recruit writers and
outspoken criticism of the magazine, essays did not disappoint. In an unpub-
suggest stories to its editors.
and, more notably, to worry about his lished draft of the first essay in the series,
For the first decade of the maga-
growing influence on key theological
zine’s history, Pew maintained a close Rushdoony didn’t pull his punches:
questions.
personal relationship with associate “The modern attempt to reduce Jesus
J. Howard Pew editor Dr. J. Marcellus Kik, a conserva- to the level of political reformer, and the
J. Howard Pew, the chairman of the tive Presbyterian. Pew offered financial church to the same level, is a denial of
Sun Oil Company, a prominent Pres- backing to Kik’s scholarly pursuits while Christ’s true Kingship.”16 When Rush-
byterian layman, and major financial Kik served as Pew’s loyal theological doony submitted the first article for
backer of Christianity Today, had long ally and friend.12 When Kik died in consideration, Pew declared, “I am en-
been an outspoken critic of theological the fall of 1965, Pew went looking for tirely in agreement with it,”17 and pres-
modernism and the Social Gospel. As a another scholar and minister of similar sured the editors of Christianity Today to
noted and wealthy layman, Pew believed stature and ability. He quickly settled publish it immediately. In a letter to Dr.
it was his duty to, as the historian E. V. on R. J. Rushdoony. “Knowing how L. Nelson Bell, Billy Graham’s father-in-
Toy notes, “counteract the misconcep- interested you have been in the history law and executive editor of Christianity

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Faith for All of Life
Today, Pew wrote, “Mr. Rushdoony is a return of both essays: “Kindly return my potentially lucrative patronage arrange-
scholar and I believe as well equipped to first essay to me. It is one of a series of ment with Pew when he made his prin-
write on this subject as anybody I know four, and I have no desire to break up cipled stand. In a letter to Pew, Rush-
… Time is running out and we should the series. Moreover, it is for me more a doony briefly summarized his reluctance
get these articles in Christianity Today liability than an asset to be published in to work further with Christianity Today,
very quickly.”18 Christianity Today.”22 Henry acquiesced concluding, “I cannot work with pyg-
Given both Pew’s and Rushdoony’s to Rushdoony’s demand, but insisted, mies; you are in a position where you
combative relationship with the Chris- with lightly veiled contempt, that he and can command them, and I am not …
tianity Today staff, what happened next his editors found the first letter adequate I am sorry that this terminates our as-
hardly came as a surprise. Dr. Carl F. after making “some factual corrections.”23 sociation, because I do have a very great
H. Henry, Christianity Today’s editor, Ultimately, Henry’s motivation respect for you and your faith.”26 There
accepted the first article in the series, for rejecting the essay may have had is no evidence that Rushdoony wanted
but rejected the second. Henry and his more to do with Rushdoony’s bud- Pew to intervene on his behalf, or that
editors homed in on a key passage in ding relationship with Pew than with Rushdoony tried to save the relationship
which Rushdoony interpreted Satan’s concerns over Rushdoony’s theological by editing the essay. In the end, Rush-
Temptation of Jesus in the wilderness as impertinence. Over a year before this doony showed little concern that this
a rejection of socialism. “In the Tempta- conflict, Henry wrote a brief response exchange ended his chance of securing a
tion,” Rushdoony argued, “Jesus has to one of Rushdoony’s many critical nationally prominent position as Pew’s
maintained the integrity of his vocation. letters, noting, “I’m sorry that about the favored Presbyterian theologian.
The First Temptation was to turn the only time we hear from you in relation Enforcing Obscurity
stones of the wilderness into bread. The to Christianity Today is by way of criti- If fractious theological infight-
world was full of hungry men, starv- cism.” Henry concluded the letter by ing and a nasty clash of personalities
ing babies, economic problems and calling for a more positive relationship between Rushdoony and the magazine’s
Satan demanded in effect that Jesus between the magazine and Rushdoony: editors dominated the 1950s and early
prove Himself a savior, a compassionate “Now I would like to invite you to be- 1960s, then the late 1960s and 1970s
redeemer, by dealing with the politico- come an appreciative participant in the developed into an era of relative peace.
economic crises of man …”19 dialogue also.”24 Henry’s willingness to Christianity Today’s editors mainly
Rushdoony interpreted Jesus’ share the snide and personal attacks on operated as gatekeepers determined
rejoinder—“Man shall not live by bread Rushdoony’s second “Mediator” essay to prevent the publication and trans-
alone”—as a categorical rejection of so- suggests that Henry’s previous invita- mission of Rushdoony’s ideas. Their
cialism. “Salvation is not in the manipu- tion to an “appreciative” dialogue was primary goal seems to have been further
lation of man’s environment: it is the less than honest. In fact, one is left to to marginalize a figure who was already
regeneration of man’s heart, and hence wonder if Henry shared the comments an outsider. For his part, Rushdoony
… the apostles were clearly forewarned of his fellow editor in order to embar- seemed content to ignore the publica-
against proclaiming a social (or socialist) rass Rushdoony in front of Pew25 and to tion, and instead developed his vision
gospel in place of the atoning, redemp- force Rushdoony into an antagonistic of Christian Reconstruction.
tive work of the crucified and risen Jesus stance. It is likely that Henry and his Private editors’ notes suggest that
Christ.”20 editors knew about Pew’s proposal to Henry and his associates occasionally
Henry asserted that Rushdoony’s Rushdoony. Given Pew’s initial strong considered publishing articles by Rush-
interpretation of the Temptation was support for Rushdoony as Kik’s suc- doony, but in each case decided against
“highly fanciful.” Henry also shared cessor, it is likely that Henry and the it. Rushdoony himself never personally
with Rushdoony one of his anonymous editors at Christianity Today resented the submitted an article for the editors’ re-
readers’ comments. These added further possibility of a vocal critic becoming a view. Instead, his supporters occasionally
insult to injury by declaring the essay patron of one of the magazine’s major sent in unsolicited manuscripts to the
“bizarre,” “laughable,” and accusing financial supporters. magazine only to receive the inevitable
Rushdoony of “twisting” and “pervert- Regardless of the exact reasons for rejection. In one instance, Henry pref-
ing” Scripture.21 Rushdoony curtly the essay’s rejection, Rushdoony abrupt- aced a submission by asking the editor
responded to Henry, demanding the ly ended any hopes of developing a to “[f ]orget this is by Rushdoony. Does

16 Faith for All of Life | July/August 2008 www.chalcedon.edu


Faith for All of Life
it have any merit?” The response hardly his works had mysteriously disappeared. his writings. How had Rushdoony man-
qualified as constructive criticism of the The author wrote Rushdoony, apologiz- aged this slippery end-run around Chris-
essay. “This,” the reviewer began, “has ing for the sudden omissions: tianity Today, the “flagship” publication
the form of scholarship but none of its I was embarrassed and not a little of American evangelicalism? The editors
content … Rush’s theology is not much shocked when I received my copy of needed a narrative, a carefully con-
better.”27 Henry’s initial warning to his the printed version … and found that structed tale to redefine its old foe, and
reviewer to “forget” who wrote the essay most of my direct quotations from your once again relegate him to the margins
suggests that the magazine’s staff was works plus specific footnotes attribut- of American Protestantism.
generally prejudiced against Rushdoony’s ing the sources of indirect quotations In “Democracy as Heresy” Rodney
work. Later, in a similar 1973 exchange, and sources of ideas had been deleted Clapp settled on the narrative that has
… If I had realized how the text would since become the controlling discourse
editors discussed an article of Rush-
be edited, I’d have written more of the
doony’s submitted by Llewellyn Rock- on Rushdoony and his concept of
documentation into the text itself rather
well, ultimately concluding, “I don’t see than putting it in the footnotes, but
Christian Reconstruction.31 Clapp’s ex-
that this article takes us anywhere.”28 that’s hindsight now.30 posé portrays a dystopian, twisted night-
In a rare exception to the obscuran- mare society built on Rushdoony’s ideas.
tist spirit of the era, Christianity Today Given that the article ran, by the By focusing on the crimes and punish-
let its guard down long enough in 1974 author’s own admission, largely as writ- ments enumerated in Rushdoony’s In-
for Harold O. J. Brown to declare, ten, the removal of specific references to stitutes of Biblical Law and the tensions
“Without a doubt, the most impressive Rushdoony pointed to the publication’s between Rushdoony and his son-in-law
concerted effort to simply “unacknowl- Gary North, Clapp’s article presents a
theological work of 1973 is Rousas J.
edge” Rushdoony. Christianity Today’s theological movement in which violence
Rushdoony’s Institutes of Biblical Law, a
editors felt it sufficient to expunge trumps benevolence and theology is de-
compendious treatment of a whole gam-
Rushdoony without engaging in any graded to a generational grudge match.
ut of questions in governmental, social,
direct exchange with him or his fol- More conveniently, Rushdoony’s focus
and personal ethics from the perspective
lowers. This stealth strategy of erasure, on theonomy over autonomy and God’s
of the principle of law and the purpose
however, soon transformed into one of will over humanity’s allowed Clapp to
of restoration of divine order in a fallen
direct engagement. make a rather simplistic but nonetheless
world.”29 This rare acknowledgment
of Rushdoony’s mammoth theological American Heretic compelling argument that Rushdoony’s
work totaled only two sentences and Broad interest in Rushdoony’s work ideas are anti-democratic. As the editor’s
mentioned nothing of his growing influ- developed slowly over the course of the note at the beginning of the story asks,
ence in conservative Reformed circles. 1980s. In previous decades, Rushdoony “Do Reconstructionists really want to
More commonly in the 1970s, remained content to publish in special- trade the freedoms of American democ-
the publication’s editors tried to erase ized journals read mostly by like-minded racy for the strictures of Old Testament
Rushdoony’s influence by ignoring clergy and in libertarian and conservative theocracy?” Clapp’s article answers the
his and his students’ work. The most publications read by movement insid- question with an enthusiastic “Yes!”
telling example of this effort to con- ers who longed for coherent, religiously therefore insinuating that at some fun-
sciously ignore and covertly obliterate astute analyses of American culture. Fur- damental level Rushdoony is not only
Rushdoony’s influence came in the ther, he narrowly focused his public min- anti-democratic, but also anti-American.
October 24, 1975, issue’s cover story, istry on small Christian colleges, activist In a single article Clapp distills the spirit
“The Reformers.” Authored by Terrill meetings, and Christian schools. This of a decades-long theological fight into a
I. Elniff, the article discussed Puritan patient, small-scale grassroots work even- fundamental accusation: Rushdoony is a
philosophies of government and juris- tually led to higher profile appearances heretic. But Clapp does not charge that
prudence and detailed their relevance on programs such as Pat Robertson’s 700 Rushdoony is a religious heretic. Instead,
to modern society. The article leaned Club and D. James Kennedy’s television in Clapp’s hands, Rushdoony emerges
heavily on Rushdoony’s ideas, but Elniff broadcasts. By the 1980s, Rushdoony’s as a political heretic, one who is out of
was shocked when the article appeared ideas seemed to be everywhere, even touch with contemporary evangelicalism
in print: all references to Rushdoony, though few in the neo-evangelicalism and, worse still, contemporary American
his ideas, and direct quotations from movement had heard of or actually read political sensibilities.

www.chalcedon.edu July/August 2008 | Faith for All of Life 17


Faith for All of Life
To call the article effective is an of Christianity Today’s assessment of 11. Ibid., 47.
understatement. Clapp’s cover story laid Rushdoony, its attempts to suppress his 12. Shortly before his death, Kik demon-
the groundwork for nearly all of the ideas and to portray him as an anti- strated his dedication to Pew’s cause when
popular press coverage of Rushdoony American theocrat ultimately helped he moved to Philadelphia in an effort to
and Christian Reconstruction that secure Rushdoony’s status as a signifi- help Pew resist changes to the Westminster
followed. In effect, Clapp secularized a cant twentieth-century theologian and Confession. (Undated letter from Charles
debate that had previously been irreduc- Christian activist. Hays Craig to R. J. Rushdoony, R. J.
Rushdoony Library, Chalcedon Foundation,
ibly religious in nature. Secular concepts
Michael McVicar is a PhD candidate in Vallecito, CA.)
of force, violence, domination, and the Department of Comparative Studies at 13. J. Howard Pew to R. J. Rushdoony, 26
political legitimation replaced tradi- The Ohio State University. He is currently November 1965, J. H. Pew Papers, Hagley
tional Christian concepts to become developing a dissertation that will focus on Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE.
the metrics for measuring Rushdoony’s the life and ministry of R. J. Rushdoony Evidence suggests that Howard E. Kersh-
theology. and his relationship to religion and politics ner of the Christian Freedom Foundation
In fact, it is reasonable to assert that in contemporary American society. In recommended Rushdoony to Pew. In a letter
“Democracy as Heresy” helped expose particular, he is interested in Rushdoony’s dated 26 January, Kershner wrote, “[Rush-
Christian Reconstruction to the secu- complex association with libertarianism doony] is the man whom I recommended
lar media and ultimately helped bring and conservatism. McVicar is not a to you as a possible substitute for Mr. Kik.
reconstructionist. He can be reached at He is very scholarly and sound.” (Howard
Rushdoony’s ideas to a national audi-
mcvicar.2@osu.edu. E. Kershner to J. Howard Pew, 26 January
ence. For secular reporters like Chip
1966, J. H. Pew Papers, Hagley Museum
Berlet, Rob Boston, Frederick Clarkson, 1. William Martin, With God on Our Side:
and Library, Wilmington, DE.)
and Sara Diamond, the article is one of The Rise of the Religious Right in America
(New York: Broadway Books, 1996), 42. 14. R. J. Rushdoony to J. Howard Pew, 2
the urtexts of Christian Reconstruction
December 1965, R. J. Rushdoony Library,
journalism.32 It presents Rushdoony’s 2. Quoted in Jon R. Stone, On the Boundar-
Chalcedon Foundation, Vallecito, CA.
thought as a microcosm of a time- ies of American Evangelicalism: The Postwar
Evangelical Coalition (New York: St. Martin’s 15. J. Howard Pew to Howard E. Kershner,
less struggle between democracy and 24 January 1966, J. H. Pew Papers, Hagley
Press, 1997), 105.
religion, theocracy and freedom. In Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE.
short, it reduces Rushdoony’s ideas to 3. J. Marcellus Kik to Rousas J. Rushdoony,
7 February 1956, R. J. Rushdoony Library, 16. R. J. Rushdoony, “The Mediator:
their secular political implications, while Christ or the Church? The Witness of Jesus
Chalcedon Foundation, Vallecito, CA.
studiously neglecting their theological Christ,” J. H. Pew Papers, Hagley Museum
4. R. J. Rushdoony to J. Marcellus Kik, 25
and epistemological foundation. and Library, Wilmington, DE.
February 1959, R. J. Rushdoony Library,
Chalcedon Foundation, Vallecito, CA. 17. J. Howard Pew to R. J. Rushdoony,
Conclusion
5. J. Marcellus Kik to R. J. Rushdoony, 30 3 March 1966, R. J. Rushdoony Library,
Given Christianity Today editors’ Chalcedon Foundation, Vallecito, CA.
wont to diminish Rushdoony’s theology, January 1959, R. J. Rushdoony Library,
Chalcedon Foundation, Vallecito, CA. 18. J. Howard Pew to Dr. L. Nelson Bell,
it is all the more ironic that Christian- 3 March 1966, J. H. Pew Papers, Hagley
ity Today eventually ran the cover story 6. R. J. Rushdoony to J. Marcellus Kik, 25
February 1959, R. J. Rushdoony Library, Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE.
that helped make Rushdoony a national 19. R. J. Rushdoony, “The Mediator: Christ
Chalcedon Foundation, Vallecito, CA.
religious figure. At the time of his death or the Church? The Witness of the Apos-
7. J. Marcellus Kik to R. J. Rushdoony,
in 2001, Christianity Today acknowl- tles,” J. H. Pew Papers, Hagley Museum and
12 March 1959, R. J. Rushdoony Library,
edged Rushdoony as the “founder of Chalcedon Foundation, Vallecito, CA. Library, Wilmington, DE.
the Christian homeschooling move- 20. Ibid.
8. Eckard V. Toy, Jr., “The National Lay
ment and an intellectual catalyst of the Committee and the National Council of 21. Carl F. H. Henry to R. J. Rushdoony, 5
Christian Right.”33 While one might be Churches: A Case Study of Protestants in April 1966, R. J. Rushdoony Library, Chal-
forgiven for thinking that either ac- Conflict,” American Quarterly 21, No. 2, cedon Foundation, Vallecito, CA.
complishment would merit a respectful Part 1, Summer 1969, 196. 22. R. J. Rushdoony to Carl F. H. Henry,
if critical assessment of Rushdoony’s 9. Mary Sennholz, Faith and Freedom: The 19 April 1966, R. J. Rushdoony Library,
influence on contemporary American Journal of a Great American, J. Howard Pew Chalcedon Foundation, Vallecito, CA.
Protestants, Christianity Today edi- (Grove City, PA: Grove City College, 1975). 23. Carl F. H. Henry to R. J. Rushdoony,
tors apparently did not. Yet regardless 10. Ibid., 45–46. Continued on page 32

18 Faith for All of Life | July/August 2008 www.chalcedon.edu


Feature Article

Of Squirrels, Socrates, and Scripture


Greg Uttinger
Vizzini: Let me put it this way. Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates?
Westley: Yes.
Vizzini: Morons.
Westley: Really?
—William Goldman, The Princess Bride (1987)

Sometimes They Do are not classicists, but they are Chris- good works” (2 Tim. 3:14–17). As far as
Say, “A Squirrel” tians. And they know their Bibles well. Paul was concerned, the classical world

I t was Christmastime. was morally corrupt, epistemologically


Christian Education bankrupt, and religiously demonic
Around our table sat
at the Crossroads (Rom. 1:20–32; 1 Cor. 10:19–21). The
some of our school’s
Education is inescapably religious. classical world needed the gospel.
brightest graduates.
Like all things human, it will be directed The issue at stake here is not whether
“What do you remember best from high
in the service of the triune God or in we should read Homer and Plato. The
school?” I asked them. Something from
the service of some idol. But “service” issue is how we should read them. How
Biblical Theology, I supposed, or maybe
implies not only a transcendent author- will we analyze or make use of what we
Systematics. They were all good Bible ity—a Lord who must be obeyed—but
students. But the first answer I got was find there? Will we begin from Scripture,
also a revelation from that authority with its doctrines of divine transcendence
Rachel’s: “You remember the squirrel that includes specific requirements.
that runs up and down the World Ash and sovereignty, of total depravity and
(“Service” also implies sanctions.2) If we sovereign grace, and let Scripture critique
Tree? That!” are going to serve God in our teaching
The World Ash Tree: Yggdrasill, the and condemn Greek humanism? Or will
and learning, we have to know what He we begin with Greek humanism and try
cosmic axis of the Nine Worlds in Norse has revealed and what He requires. We
mythology. I don’t remember the name to baptize it with some bland moralisms
have to know what God has said. Then in the name of Christ? Will Scripture be
of the squirrel. Yes, I teach mythology— we have to submit to it. This means we
Egyptian, Greek, Norse, and German- our foundation or our afterthought? If
must bring our educational beliefs and we are going to serve Jesus, the answer
ic.1 It falls in World Literature, a junior/ practices captive to the Word of God, to shouldn’t be difficult.
senior class. In addition to my lectures, Holy Scripture.
we read Edith Hamilton’s Mythology, the Today, however, there are voices Autonomous Reason
Enuma Elish, the Epic of Gilgamesh, the within the Christian community—or From the beginning, however, Satan
Iliad, and the Aeneid. We read a little at least, just outside its walls—that are has challenged the Word of God. His
from the Elder and Younger Eddas, early finding God’s revelation, God’s will, in “Hath God said?” in Eden was quickly
sources for Norse mythology. high human tradition, in Aristotelian followed by, “Ye shall not surely die.”
I’m not sure why the Norse squir- logic, or in the pagan classics. If we want God, he told Eve, knows something
rel stuck in Rachel’s memory: probably to humanize and civilize our young, they you don’t know: He is lying to you. So
because the idea was a bit quirky. I say, we must begin with the Greeks.3 Satan proposed a test of God’s Word
do know that Rachel has an excellent Now, Paul knew Greek philosophy concerning the forbidden Tree. In effect,
knowledge of Scripture and of system- and culture. He had read the Stoic po- Satan asked Eve to step out onto the
atic theology. We spent a few weeks here ets. He could quote them from mem- theoretically neutral ground of her own
and there with mythology: we spent ory.4 Yet he pointed Timothy, not to autonomous heart and mind and there
four years with the words and doctrines the local academies, but to the inspired put God’s Word to the test. But such
of Holy Scripture. Quirky squirrels to Word of God that was able to make him a test was hardly neutral: it was blatant
the contrary, Rachel and her classmates “perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all unbelief. For the Tree was God’s creature

www.chalcedon.edu July/August 2008 | Faith for All of Life 19


Faith for All of Life
through and through. So was Eve. So erything that Plato and Aristotle wrote. In the Western tradition, education has
was Adam. They were His image, and It completely conditioned the Greek always been synonymous with classical
He had spoken to them plainly. Their conception of education: education was education. It began with the Greeks and
being resonated to His Word. To pretend Romans, was preserved and expanded by
for, by, and through the polis; that is,
Christians during the Middle Ages and
otherwise was an act of incredible rebel- one’s own polis. For Plato and Aristotle, Renaissance, and continued unabated
lion and folly. But if they were going that meant Athens. until well into the twentieth century.9
to decide good and evil for themselves, But when Alexander’s conquests
it was a necessary folly. Adam and Eve transformed the world into a Hellenistic “Preserved and expanded”: the as-
could maintain their own autonomy only empire, the polis failed as educator and sumption is a basic continuity between
by presupposing that God the Creator absolute, and Hellenistic philosophy Greek and Roman paganism and “the
did not and could not exist. Man has wrestled with meaning and law in a mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16). That is,
continued in that folly ever since. cosmopolitan world. The Cynics and there is a natural law to which both pa-
gan and Christian can appeal, and thus a
Epicureans assumed a divine disinter-
From Polytheism to Natural Law neutral plan of education fit for both—
Satan’s “Ye shall not surely die” est in the affairs of man; they retreated
at least as long as everyone is reasonable.
implied other forces in the universe into a rabid individualism. “Yet the old
Discussing the Great Books curricu-
as ancient and, in their own spheres, idea, that man owed an allegiance to
lum, E. Christian Kopff writes in terms
as powerful as God. Satan spoke for the order of relationships supporting his
of a similar assumption: Western culture
cosmic evolution and for polytheism, existence, was too deeply rooted, and
is the product of an ongoing conver-
the existence of many gods, of whom it fell to the Stoics to work out a new
sation and debate carried out in the
Jehovah was but one. But many gods formula for membership.”6 The Stoics great works of Western literature. This
means many law-orders and many tried to root law in Nature, in the divine conversation began with Greece, and the
truths. For polytheism, every tribe, na- intelligence or logos inherent in the Iliad is the first book in the canon. This
tion, and city-state was its own cosmos, cosmos itself. Here it would be acces- conversation, Kopff tells us, “extends
defined in terms of its own god and sible to all right-thinking human beings. from Homer through Plato and Aristo-
its own religion. When nations went “For there is one universe made up of all tle to Augustine and Aquinas.”10
to war, their gods went to war. The things, and one God who pervades all
things, and one substance, and one law, However, handing down the torch of
defeated god would be incorporated
human understanding is a risky busi-
into the pantheon of the victor … as a one common reason in all intelligent
ness. Cicero made Greek thought live
subordinate. Every military defeat was a animals, and one truth …”7 So wrote in great literature in Latin. The genius
religious defeat, and the victorious god the philosopher-king, Marcus Aurelius, of Augustine and Aquinas assimilated
was a new truth for a new day. persecutor of Christians. Christian perspectives into the living
The Greek philosophers tried to Now comes some theological sleight reality of Plato and Aristotle. That tra-
rationalize and naturalize their theories of hand. Since God reveals Himself in dition, also by means of humane assimi-
of knowledge and learning. They aban- creation—since every man is the im- lation (and genius), survived through
doned the myths and exalted Reason, age of God with the “work of the law” the Middle Ages and Renaissance. But
the divine quality shared by man and one generation may drop the project or
written in his heart—can’t we conclude
run off towards a cul-de-sac.11
“God,” whatever he might be. But for that Stoic philosophy stumbled upon a
all their talk of transcendent absolutes, Biblical truth? Aren’t general revelation It seems that the Greek and Ro-
the Greeks could not escape the notion and natural law the same thing? And man authors were having a conversation
of an immanent absolute—the state. isn’t this, at last, common ground? For about important matters, and Augustine
The polis, the city-state, was the incarna- eighteen centuries, Western civilization and Aquinas managed to find room in
tion of the divine.5 “Man is by nature a and Western education have rested on that conversation for Christians who
political animal,” Aristotle wrote, “and this assumption.8 Of course, no one had something useful to say. Renaissance
he who by nature and not by mere ac- talks about total depravity. humanists were the next to come to the
cident is without a State (polis) is either table. But, for Kopff, the Enlightenment
above humanity or below it.” This is not Common Ground Education writers dropped the project: they rejected
secularism as we know it; it is religious In The Classical Teacher Cheryl tradition and nearly brought the Great
humanism, and it is the context for ev- Lowe writes, Conversation to an end.

20 Faith for All of Life | July/August 2008 www.chalcedon.edu


Faith for All of Life
Once again there is an assumption So David killed the giant with a sling. and festivals, the floor plan of the taber-
of philosophical neutrality and of human And Jesus rose from the dead. Noah nacle and temple, the succession of the
autonomy. Christianity enters the clas- built an ark and the animals came kings, the prophecies of Daniel: these are
sical conversation as (maybe) an equal on, two by two. Elijah ascended into all things that a good student can learn
heaven, but Judas betrayed Christ. And easily, even quickly—especially when
participant, but certainly not as the
Daniel survived the lion’s den, for “God
representative of the holy Creator sent they form the framework for the greatest
so loved the world …”
by Him to call all men to repentance. story ever told. But if our students are
The church must yield up her prophetic This also doesn’t make much sense. going to learn them, we who are educa-
voice, and frame whatever she has to Yet many of us have learned the Bible tors must learn them first.
say in terms of the common ground of this way—in bits and pieces with no
evident connection and in no particular Scripture as Theology
neutral reason and natural law.
order. The plot is missing and so are the Now let me illustrate a second
Kopff completely misunderstands the
thematic connections. We are left with problem. The next time you go to a
Enlightenment as well. While Enlighten-
a handful—often no more—of odd Christian educators’ conference, take
ment writers tried to edit Christianity out
supernatural tales after the fashion of a look at the book tables. Count the
of the Great Conversation, they had no
The Arabian Nights or a few moralistic number of books on systematic theol-
problem at all with Greek rationalism or
ogy and doctrine you see there. In my
with the esoteric and occult strains that stories like those in Aesop’s Fables.
experience, it’s somewhere near zero.
pervade classical thought.12 The Enlight- But consider: the Bible is a book.
There may be some books on world-
enment was classical thought rushing This may seem obvious, but it is actually
view and probably some on educational
headlong toward maturity. profound. The Bible has a beginning
philosophy or psychology. There may be
But humanism is self-destructive. and an end: it has a plot and a purpose.
some devotionals for teachers or some
When men do not “like to retain God For the most part, it is history—and not
counseling helps. There will probably be
in their knowledge,” God gives them dry, dull facts, but fascinating and lively
some Christian biographies. Books on
over to a reprobate mind, a mind void story—story that begins in Creation and
doctrine you won’t find.
of judgment (Rom. 1:28ff ). The ethical the Fall, moves through God’s covenant
Here’s another assignment. Take
consequences are profound and hor- with the patriarchs and with Israel, and out your school’s or church’s statement
rible. Jesus says, “[A]ll they that hate me culminates in the death and Resurrec- of faith. Read it through carefully. Now
love death” (Prov. 8:36b). There is no tion of Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of explain how each of its propositions
common ground, no concord between God. In short, the Bible is about Jesus: relates to your curriculum as a whole
Christ and Belial. There is only life and “[T]he testimony of Jesus is the spirit and to particular subjects or lessons
death, heaven and hell. We have to serve of prophecy” (Rev. 19:10d). If we don’t more particularly. What, for example,
somebody: it had better be the Lord. understand all the pieces in terms of does the doctrine of the Trinity have
Him, we really won’t understand much to do with language and communica-
Scripture as History and Story of anything. And if we don’t even know tion? with painting? with feudalism or
Now if we as educators want to the pieces, and in order at that, we won’t federalism? Or how should our belief in
get serious about beginning our work know Him very well either. God’s providence affect our understand-
from Scripture, we will likely have some Young people have no trouble learn- ing of economics and law? of gravity or
practical problems. Let me illustrate the ing the ins and outs of the Star Wars saga the scientific method? What does the
first. See if you recognize this: or the complex history and geography doctrine of the Incarnation have to do
So Inigo killed the six-fingered man. of Middle-earth.13 There is no cognitive with the birth of Western civilization?
Wesley had been mostly dead all day. reason that they can’t master the Bible’s We should be able to answer these
Buttercup jumped into eel-infested story just as well. Any teenage student of questions. But, first, we must under-
waters. There was a mighty duel: both Scripture should be able to tell the story stand the faith. Jude speaks of the faith
were masters. But they survived the Fire of redemption from Creation to the “once [for all] delivered unto the saints.”
Swamp, for “This is true love.”
Cross—and in some detail. The books Paul writes, “One Lord, one faith, one
Yes, this is The Princess Bride. No, of the Bible, the six days of Creation, the baptism.” There is a doctrinal unity
it doesn’t make much sense. It’s full of Ten Commandments, the seven cov- to Christianity. Scripture contains a
gaps and out of order. Now try this: enants of promise, the Levitical offerings system of truth, a consistent, objective

www.chalcedon.edu July/August 2008 | Faith for All of Life 21


Faith for All of Life
self-revelation from the living God. more vital than our necessary bread. any episode of the original Star Trek within
To understand, apply, and defend that Furthermore, Scripture is about our its first four seconds—a hangover from my
system is the work of systematic theology. Savior and our salvation. It ought to be youth.
Systematics emphasizes the unity of the the joy and rejoicing of our hearts. We 14. Greg Uttinger, An Introduction to Sys-
faith, its internal coherence. It shows how really should work at knowing it better, tematics (Anderson, CA: 1994), 1.
all of God’s truth stands together, and understanding it more deeply, and ap- 15. R. J. Rushdoony’s Foundations of Social
it summarizes that truth in an orderly plying it more broadly. There is a place Order is an invaluable tool for this sort of
study.
and useful manner.14 It works from for the Greeks and the Romans, and
Scripture: it works in terms of the creeds even for quirky Norse squirrels. But that Ortiz … Entrepreneurial cont. from page 11
and confessions of the church, and those place is not at the heart of our learning
The power and gifts come from God,
creeds and confessions are the product or teaching; it is not at the foundation
though we are putting in the twelve-
of the faithful church doing systematic of what we call Christian education.
hour workdays. We can therefore avoid
theology under the guidance of the Holy Jesus has told us how to build: we must
the snare that tripped Israel if we simply
Spirit. We can begin our studies using hear His sayings and do them. Nothing
recognize that God is prepared to
the Apostles’ and Nicene Creed as study less will do.
empower any effort we make to develop
guides. We can move on to the Formula
1. Some of my lectures on Norse mythology visible things by invisible means. Don’t
of Chalcedon or the Athanasian Creed.15 are currently on YouTube. They seem to be put your dreams on hold for another
Then there are the Westminster Stan- the most popular of my posted lectures. Sad, day. Creation is filled with untapped
dards or the Three Forms of Unity. We that. wisdom, and He’s given you power to
can read Calvin, Turretin, or Berkhof and 2. Gary North, Political Polytheism: The get wealth today!
find still greater treasures. At every step, Myth of Pluralism (Tyler, TX: Institute for
we will learn there is much more to learn Christian Economics, 1989). 1. Christopher J. Ortiz, “Wisdom the Prin-
and that it is all profitable for an educa- 3. See, for instance, Cheryl Lowe, “Why cipal Thing,” Faith for All of Life, May-June
tion in godliness. Read Homer’s Iliad?”, The Classical Teacher, 2008.
Spring 2008, 19. 2. Andrea Schwartz, “The Biblical Trustee
Scripture as Law and Life 4. He quotes from Aratus and Cleanthes in Family,” Faith for All of Life, Nov.-Dec.
This brings us to a third practical Acts 17:28; he also quotes the Cretan poet 2007.
problem: we must not reduce the study Epimenides there and in Titus 1:12. 3. R. J. Rushdoony, Systematic Theology in
of Scripture to an academic exercise. It Two Volumes (Vallecito, CA: Ross House
5. Any educator who feels the lure of
is Christ we encounter in Scripture. We Books, 1994), 1046.
ancient Greece needs to sit down and read
must come ready to hear and obey. He chapter 4 of Rousas J. Rushdoony’s The One 4. Ibid.
speaks to us infallibly and with author- and the Many. 5. Ibid., 1045.
ity. He teaches us and commands us. He 6. Sheldon S. Wolin, Politics and Vision: 6. Ibid., 1020f.
grants us grace and power. His words Continuity and Innovation (Princeton: Princ- 7. Christopher J. Ortiz, “The Leadership
are truth and law, Spirit and life. We eton University Press, 2004), 67. Principle,” Faith for All of Life, Mar.-Apr.
must believe every word, and live by all 7. Marcus Aurelius, The Meditations, VII, 9. 2006.
of them. Practically, this means that any 8. North, Political Polytheism, xxi. 8. Ortiz, “Wisdom the Principal Thing.”
lecture or discussion may easily turn to 9. Lowe, “Why Read Homer’s Iliad?”, 18. 9. See www.garynorth.com.
issues of faith and godliness. We will 10. E. Christian Kopff, The Devil Knows
find ourselves talking of God’s law as we Latin: Why America Needs the Classical Tradi- Hauck … Reigning cont. from page 13
rise up and lie down and walk by the tion (Wilmington, DE: ISI Books, 2001), 92. 7. The Chalcedonian Creed, A.D. 451.
way. Of course, this is exactly what our 11. Ibid. 8. Rushdoony, The Foundations of Social
Lord commands (Deut. 6:4–9). 12. On the place of the occult and esoteric Order, 2.
in revolutionary Enlightenment thought, 9. Ibid., 183.
“Thy Words Were Found, see James H. Billington, Fire in the Minds of 10. Ibid., 179.
and I Did Eat Them …” Men: Origins of the Revolutionary Faith (New
11. Ambrose, De Jacob et Vita Beata 1.6.21.
Scripture is the inspired Word of York: Basic Books, Inc., 1980), especially
God. That makes it valuable beyond chap. 4.
reckoning—more precious than gold, 13. I can still tell you the title and plot of

22 Faith for All of Life | July/August 2008 www.chalcedon.edu


Featured Article

The World in God’s Fist: The Meaning of History


Martin G. Selbrede

I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it. He hath made every thing
beautiful in its time: also he hath set eternity in their heart except that man is unable to reach unto the work
which God accomplisheth from the beginning to the end.” (Eccles. 3:10–11)

I n the words of
Ecclesiastes, history
is “the work that God
in His rebuke of the king of Assyria.
“Shall the axe boast itself against him
that heweth therewith? Or shall the saw
28:18–20), remains the same.
So, what does a Christian origin for
the United States represent? Would this
accomplisheth from the magnify itself against him that shaketh circumstance be bad news for humanists
beginning to the end.” it? As if the rod should shake itself who oppose it, who fear the teaching of
But the study of history, against them that lift it up, or as if the such an origin for this nation?
and more particularly of eternal things, staff should lift up itself, as if it were no No. If we started out Christian, that
is a source of travail because “man is un- wood” (Isa. 10:15). The wooden staff fact would constitute an indictment,
able to reach unto the work which God (the symbol God uses for the Assyr- not of the humanists (who at least act
accomplisheth.” We are driven to try ian king) has the attitude it isn’t made consistently with their worldview and
to grasp the scope of it, to get our arms of wood at all, that its actions are not principles) but of Christians, represent-
around it … but cannot do so. controlled by a transcendent Being that ing proof of Christian decline and decay.
History is driven forward by God wields it, believing instead the fiction We shouldn’t be proud we began as
because our doings and actions are that it exerts its own free, self-deter- a Christian nation. We should be saying
derivative and secondary, not causal or mined control over itself and others. this with fear and shame, that we squan-
primary. We’re pathologically forgetful The staff, the axe, mentioned by Isaiah, dered an amazing beachhead for Christ.
of God while we’re absorbed in tempo- are instruments shaped for a workman’s If anything, the fact that we were
ral affairs. We find the idea that our do- hand: they were fashioned to be con- Christian at one time in the past should
ings are derivative rather than primary trolled and used of God. be a comfort to humanists—because
quite unsettling. History is thus the process whereby we set the decisive precedent that we
That the Scriptures teach us that our human autonomy is continually being couldn’t or wouldn’t keep our nation
actions, and all of history, are ultimately shattered and laid in ruins by the triune Christian. The situation is the opposite
derivative and dependent upon Him is God. of what both sides think it to be.
incontrovertible. In Isaiah 37:26, God
upbraids Sennacherib through Isaiah A Christian History King Josiah and Other Examples
with precisely such a declaration: “Hast of the United States? Consider the reconstruction under
thou not heard long ago, how I have The Christian history of the United King Josiah. What good did a glorious
done it; and of ancient times, that I have States of America: why do the human- history do the Hebrew nation? Were
formed it? Now have I brought it to ists oppose such an idea and vigorously they consistent with their reconstruction
pass, that thou shouldest be to lay waste seek to discredit it? Because they fear under Josiah? Did Josiah’s example rub
defenced cities into ruinous heaps.” God that people may want America to return off on the people at large? The people
is merely bringing to pass what He has to its roots. “If it once was Christian, it loved Josiah, and still the revival under
already done and formed in ancient times, could become Christian again!” his benevolent and godly rule flopped
i.e., before the world began. But, most nations did not start out after he was killed.
Against this idea, man pits his claim Christian. Whether the U.S. was or Consider Laodicea, praised early
of autonomy, of independent action. was not a Christian nation in the past on by Paul but rebuked by Christ in
But God scoffs at such posturing as a is utterly irrelevant to our mission. Revelation 3 a single generation later.
meaningless boast, no more so than Our strategy, our commission (Matt. The lesson here is equally clear: decline

www.chalcedon.edu July/August 2008 | Faith for All of Life 23


Faith for All of Life
is inevitable if the conditions for growth this impotence of the Gospel.” authority, to be free to create his own
are not met. What are the conditions for The approach of these authors is paradise on his own terms.
growth or decline? It is here that history identical to that of humanistic scholars, The Enlightenment agenda can
can help us, for history is the handbook as C. Gregg Singer documents in his never succeed on its merits. The vilifica-
of man’s failures at being his own God. analysis of R. G. Collingwood’s philoso- tion of Christianity as the religion of
phy of history when the latter asked, knuckle-draggers is therefore part of the
Division in the Camp “What is this criterion of historic truth?” artificial propping up of Enlightenment
Mark A. Noll, Nathan O. Hatch, Collingwood found that criterion in the thinking.
and George M. Marsden published a web of imagination, by which he meant
book in 1983 entitled The Search for the historian’s own a priori imagina- U.S. History: Christian or Not?
Christian America. As reviewer Dr. W. tion. This a priori imagination furnishes Journalist Jeff Sharlet2 is concerned
David Gamble explains, these three the historian with a picture of the past, about the rising tide of Christian fun-
authors believe that the United States of which in turn justifies the sources that damentalism in general and its incur-
America is not, was not, and never will the historian uses in constructing the sion into the field of historiography in
be a Christian nation. They hold that past. The history thus gives credence to particular. He suggests that American
the very notion of a Christian society is the sources only because they are justi- history is being hijacked by wronghead-
erroneous and an impossibility, and this fied in this manner. This approach justi- ed revisionists. But Sharlet acknowl-
idea usually has harmful effects upon fies Collingwood’s statement that “the edges that the fundamental question is,
the individuals who entertain such no- Biblical records cannot be considered Who is really guilty of revisionism? He
tions. The authors thus state their inten- from the point of view of whether they acknowledges that there is some basis for
tion to debunk the mythological idea of are true or not.” (Truth is an irrelevant the “revisionist” claims.
a Christian origin of the United States question to historian Collingwood.)1 Compared to secular democracy, the
and to declare that there will never be a Christians Noll, Hatch, and Mars- Christian vision, says Sharlet, “seems to
Christian culture. In other words, history den adopt a similar approach to Col- some great portion of the population
is tied to the alleged shape of the future! lingwood’s. Singer analyzes Collingwood more compelling, more just, and more
As Gamble reveals, the three authors further, pointing out that “every new beautiful.” Sharlet has to lamely excuse
“acknowledge that their conclusions generation must rewrite history in its his own secularist vision for looking
concerning the non-Christian nature own way … At best, every historian and comparatively dull (due to “the perfunc-
of early America are conditioned by each new generation is free to assign to tory processes of secular democracy”),
their theological understanding of the history that meaning or purpose which but his actual problem is quite different.
impossibility of a truly Christian culture fits the needs of the moment.” He doesn’t have a dull model, he has a
(pp. 28, 43ff). Thus, the authors give nonfunctional one, as shown by Richard
us an interesting insight into their task Kings Aplenty A. Shweder, Professor of Human Devel-
as historians: they already believe, even As Rushdoony put it, when God is opment, University of Chicago.3
before examining the historical record, not the king, every man makes himself Shweder asks, Why so many barbed
that there is no possibility that early the king. The historians have assumed attacks against religion lately? “The most
America, or any other culture in the precisely such a kingship, but their obvious answer is that the armies of dis-
world, could be accurately described as kingdom is nothing but rotted timbers belief have been provoked.” But Shweder
Christian. Therefore, as they begin their under their rule, as Singer and others probes below that superficiality:
historical research, their conclusion is have ably documented. [T]he popularity of the current coun-
already established, and facts are made So we return to the question, Why terattack on religion cloaks a renewed
to conform to their views concerning all the fear about a Christian history of and intense anxiety within secular soci-
the impossibility of Christian culture. the United States? It is feared because that ety that it is not the story of religion but
“It is the authors’ understanding of history came complete with a total world- rather the story of the Enlightenment
the nature of the Gospel which radically view and legal system (God’s law-word) that may be more illusory than real.
influences their historiography … They that circumscribed all of life prescriptively. The Enlightenment story has its own
tell us that the Gospel cannot change That feared history acknowledged an version of Genesis, and the themes are
the foundational principles of culture, Authority over man in all things, but well known: The world woke up from
but they give us no exegetical reason for modern man wants to be his own the slumber of the “dark ages,” finally

24 Faith for All of Life | July/August 2008 www.chalcedon.edu


Faith for All of Life
got in touch with the truth and became The very vehicle (public education) delivers history from meaninglessness. It
good about 300 years ago … intended to propagate the secularist also delivers us out of the cold hands of
As people opened their eyes, religion … outlook is an international disgrace. But an expurgated version of history, a tale
gave way to science. Parochial and tribal what children do imbibe history and denatured by educational necessity given
allegiances gave way to ecumenism, grasp it? Those in conservative Christian the exigencies of public policy. Sharlet
cosmopolitanism and individualism. schools and homeschools. writes concerning the Christian nation
Top-down command systems gave Frederick Clarkson, lecturing at a depicted by Christian revisionists that:
way to the separation of church from
New York secularist seminar in October Secularism hides this story, killed the
state, of politics from science. The story
2005, held that Christian Reconstruc- Christian nation, and tried to dispose
provides a blueprint for how to remake
and better the world in the image and tionists “know where they stand in of the body. Fundamentalism wants to
interests of secular elites. history” and the role they’ll be playing resurrect it, and doing so requires revi-
in it. Clarkson contrasted this with the sion: fundamentalists, looking back-
Unfortunately, as a theory of history,
that story has had a predictive utility of
rest of society, which “is pretty much ward, see a different history, remade
disconnected from” history. in the image of the seductive but strict
approximately zero.
logic of a prime mover that sets things
Shweder’s subsequent explanation “Obstacles to Our in motion.8
makes clear that we’re witnessing the Understanding of the Past”
The movement now sees that to reclaim
death paroxysms of the Enlightenment Rushdoony notes that the Human- America for God, it must first reclaim
story of history. istic Education Sourcebook, an anthology that tradition for Him, and so it is
Not only is the humanistic theory of “used in training teachers,” contains an producing a flood of educational texts
history coming up short, modern educa- essay “entitled ‘Humanism: Capstone of with which to wash away the stain of
tors are miserably incompetent to propagate an Educated Person.’ This title is reveal- secular history.9
it. Former U.S. Secretary of Education ing. For our statist educators, a truly
All “revision” is spurious to the
William J. Bennett sat down for an educated person is a humanist.”5 This
stalwart old guard. To be called a “revi-
interview with Gloria Gaither.4 The academic reality is confirmed by the
sionist” is a slur one tier below “extrem-
problem Dr. Bennett outlines, regarding secular scholar Karl D. Uitti, thus:
American education, is letter simple: ist” in today’s environment. But if the
What is the purpose of humanistic Christians are correct about God and
Our worst subject is history. People scholarship? What, in fact, does the history, then God Himself is a revision-
have heard ad nauseum the reports and humanist scholar do? The job of the
ist, and His story cannot ultimately
the scores of our reading and math. humanist scholar is to organize our
Our kids actually do better in read- be buried, let alone countered. If the
huge inheritance of culture … to clear
ing and math than they do in history, away the obstacles to our understanding Christian history proponents didn’t have
American history particularly. Many of the past, to make our whole cultural a seemingly infinite storehouse of evidence
kids from other countries know Ameri- heritage … accessible to us.6 for their view, but only shallow, easily ex-
can history better than we do. That’s a hausted resources that paled next to the
stunning fact. The problem, as Bennett and
evidence for the Enlightenment version
Clarkson have noted, is that this entire
And second—if we do not teach it to of history, the Christian history movement
program has failed. The Enlighten-
them, they will not pick it up, unless would have long ago died.
they watch the History Channel, which ment heritage that secularism sought to
Notably, Rushdoony never saw his-
a lot of kids don’t do. It’s the obligation perpetuate has not been made accessible.
tory as normative:
of one generation to pass on to the next And from all accounts, the program is
things of value. There’s hardly anything not even worth saving because the secu- I have more than a few times been
of greater value than passing on the lar view of history must now compete disappointed in men whose knowledge
legacy of this country. We’re not doing with the Christian view of history. at first glance made them notable.
it. Our schools are teaching social stud- Their problem was a past-bound vision.
The flaw in history education is a
ies, which is not history. When histori- Their focus was on the early church, or
simple one. As Robert Erwin puts it:
cal subjects are taught, they are often the medieval church, or the Reforma-
taught either: A) in a very tendentious,
“In the long run humans do not bear tion church, and so on and on. If their
politically correct way, or B) in a very up well without meaning.”7 Sharlet interest was political they often looked
boring way, or C) both of the above. recognizes that a Biblical worldview backward to a particular era in history.

www.chalcedon.edu July/August 2008 | Faith for All of Life 25


Faith for All of Life
Now such interests can be good, but covenant and law. This fact creates a instead the prisoner of history, and
too often such people idealize the past market for false prophets who speak moreover, a prisoner without hope.”13
and want a return to something no encouraging words where judgment is The non-Christian doctrine of history
longer tenable. The modernist, on the required. As he points out, “For cove- “places man under nature and seeks to
other hand, wants a continual revision
nant-breakers, judgment is the governing place him over God; the Biblical doctrine
of the content of the Faith in terms of
and overruling fact of history. Man’s places man under God and over nature
the spirit of the age. Those of us who
hold that it is God’s enscripturated goal, however, is history without judg- in Him. Thus, the consequence of every
word that is alone authoritative must ment, history as an experiment, not a philosophy of history which denies the
recognize that it must transform and test. But history without judgment does God of scripture … is to open the way
govern our todays and tomorrows.10 not exist. Because God made heaven for the terror of man under nature and
and earth and all things therein, history under the divine and messianic state.”14
Jeff Sharlet has failed to recognize is a continuing test and judgment.”12
that Rushdoony is future-oriented and Rushdoony, commenting on Exo- Purpose of Secular History Books
is not seduced by idealistic notions dus, points out that “[f ]or God to act in One of the main purposes of secular
of an alleged “romance of American history means that the decisive deter- history books is to document a progres-
fundamentalism.” miner of events is not man but God.” sive trend from darkness to light, to
Sharlet laments that his secular his- Events are given a naturalistic interpre- enlightenment. This is the enlighten-
tory message (1) isn’t competitive, (2) is tation so that man can retain his priority ment heresy. History books make a
so far from attractive it’s positively stul- and keep God in His place. He further point of talking about the evils of the
tifying compared to Christian historiog- quotes Joseph Parker to the effect that past and the darkness under which men
raphy, (3) is a complete bust in terms of “The Song of Moses is simply history lived (scientific, artistic, cultural, racial),
predictive utility, (4) inspires nobody to set to music.” Rushdoony adds, “If left and they depict the process by which
live for something greater than himself, to the scholars, history could never be everything is becoming new. This anti-
and (5) has led to attempts to remedi- set to music because it is dehydrated, Christian bias in a history book makes
ate one through four that are manifestly dehumanized, and stripped of God.” it objective. A Christian bias in a history
futile since Christian Reconstructionists book makes it worthless in the eyes of a
are latched onto the future. Meaning and History humanist, and even dangerous.
Meaning and history are tied togeth- This philosophical requirement—
Our Place in History er. If there is no meaning, there can be that schools not establish a religion—
Rushdoony comments on Deuter- no history—men can then create mean- requires the rewriting of history. The
onomy 4: “What Moses assumes from ing by fiat. If history is meaningless, time children get a false understanding of the
start to finish is a chain of generations cannot be precious. But because time is truth. But they do get an understanding
accountable to God and subject to His precious, is to be redeemed, history by that is useful from the point of view of
judgments. Our modern individualistic implication has meaning. humanists, who are interested in ma-
perspective makes this a strange concept If humanists consistently believed nipulating truth for their own purposes.
today. Each new generation now sees in meaninglessness being ultimate, they A notorious example of such ma-
itself in supposed freedom and indepen- wouldn’t care about history or historic nipulation can be found in the writings
dence from the past. The result is both determinism—such ideas would be of Dr. Susan McClary. A dedicated revi-
shallow and dangerous thinking. The myths to dismiss. But, because human- sionist, she received a reported six-figure
freedom presupposed by this anarchistic ists want to be their own gods, because grant from the MacArthur Foundation
view of history is very faulty. The chain they want to create meaning and not in 1995 and wrote as follows:
of generations is not a binding chain but submit to a preexisting meaning that
a foundation to build upon and in terms It is no accident that the dynasty of
they stridently deny in their ethical
great bourgeois composers begins with
of which to grow.”11 rebellion, they deliberately undercut his-
Bach, for he gives the impression that
To speak concerning God’s judg- tory. Humanistic historians always become our way of representing the world
ment constitutes one a prophet. Rush- mythmakers and spin doctors. musically is God-given. Thereafter,
doony points out that the true prophet As Rushdoony notes, “[M]an, in tonality can retain its aura of absolute
is not a welcome person. He calls atten- seeking to wrest control of history from perfection (“the way music goes”) in its
tion to the apostasy of men from God’s the hand of God, has made himself native secular habitat. This sleight of

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Faith for All of Life
hand earned Bach the name “the fifth there arose a king that knew not Joseph. 2. Jeff Sharlet, “Through a Glass, Darkly:
evangelist.” I would propose the age-old Forgetfulness has consequences. How the Christian right is reimagining
strategy of rewriting the tradition in The biggest example of divine con- U.S. history,” Harper’s Magazine, December
such a way as to appropriate Bach to sequences in history is the seventy years 2006, 33–43.
our own political ends. 3. Richard A. Shweder, “Guess who’s unwel-
of Babylonian captivity exacted against
It is clear that humanists aren’t even Israel for nearly 500 years of missed come at dinner? Nonbeliever elites may as
hiding their intentions anymore, they’ve land Sabbaths. The Lord didn’t execute well get comfortable with God in conversa-
tion.” Shweder, a Guggenheim Fellow and
become so brazen. Herbert Schlossberg justice speedily (Eccles. 8:11), and men
winner of the AAAS Socio-Psychological
has identified such “idols of history” misinterpreted His providing opportu- Prize, was president of the Society for
equally well: nity to repent as His winking at sin for Psychological Anthropology. Shweder’s piece
Thus far almost everything we have century after century. first appeared in the New York Times on No-
said has stressed the plasticity of history. God is never mocked. vember 27, 2006, under the title “Atheists
Instead of the constellation of names, Agonistes.”
History Rendered Irrelevant
dates, treaties, and other hard facts we 4. “Raising a Ruckus,” Gloria Gaither’s
learned in school, it now seems that Herbert Schlossberg provides
interview with Dr. William J. Bennett.
history is apprehended subjectively and further evidence of the trend toward ir-
Homecoming, Vol. 4, Issue 5 (September/
used in accordance with the purposes of relevance that marks modern idolatrous October 2006), 25–28.
the moment … Thus, history has always historiography: 5. R. J. Rushdoony, “Education: Today’s
served equally as well those who ransack
In 1977, David Donald of the Harvard Crisis and Dilemma,” Journal of Christian
it for weapons and those who explore it
history department … says that the les- Reconstruction 11.2 (1987), 69.
for wisdom. The past is made to fight the
sons of the past are not only irrelevant 6. Karl D. Uitti, Linguistics and Literary
battles of the people who are using it.15
for his students, but dangerous. “Per- Theory (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall,
Memory and Remembrance haps my most useful function would 1969), vii.
In Deuteronomy 16:3 Israel is told, be to disenthrall them from the spell of 7. Robert Erwin, The Great Language Panic
“[R]emember the day when thou cam- history, to help them see the irrelevance and Other Essays in Cultural History (Athens:
est forth out of the land of Egypt all the of the past.” Donald’s position gives the
University of Georgia Press, 1990), 75.
appearance of devaluing history, but
days of thy life.” Rushdoony comments 8. Ibid.
in fact it is only a disguised version of
that people with no sound memory the Hegelian divinization of history. It 9. Ibid., 36.
of the past have no good hope for the dismisses history as a subject of study to 10. Andrew Sandlin, ed., A Comprehensive
future: “Having no sound memory of exalt it as a principle of inevitability.17 Faith (San Jose, CA: Friends of Chalcedon,
past victories, they have no founda- 1996), 15, quoting Rushdoony’s article,
tion for present and future triumphs It comes as no surprise, then, that “Unconstructive Religion,” first appearing
… [Biblically] the purpose of memory when C. Gregg Singer attended an in Chalcedon Report, No. 362, September
is to guide and govern action.”16 It is annual convention of the American His- 1995, 2.
no surprise that Rushdoony discerns torical Society, “the scholars were agreed 11. Rushdoony, upcoming commentary on
in Scripture the view that history is, in that history is devoid of meaning and Deuteronomy.
part, a memory war, quoting Jeremiah purpose. When Singer asked why they 12. Quotations from Rushdoony’s upcom-
11:19 to the effect that Jeremiah sees his then taught it, there was no reply.”18 ing commentary on Deuteronomy.
enemies as men seeking to obliterate the Pray that we might have a reply for 13. R. J. Rushdoony, The Biblical Philosophy
very memory of him because their cause why we teach history, a history that is of History, 10.
in history is anti-God. saturated with ultimate meaning and 14. Ibid., 14.
Forgetfulness of history leads to the purpose. Let’s teach it with resolve, let’s 15. Herbert Schlossberg, Idols for Destruc-
Deuteronomy 8 problem: beware lest you remember the rock from which we were tion (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Publishers,
forget what God has done. We redefine hewn, and let’s build the future that is 1990), 19–20.
our philosophy of reality when we forget advancing to meet us in Christ Jesus. 16. Rushdoony, upcoming commentary on
what God has done. Loss of history is a 1. C. Gregg Singer, “The Problem of Deuteronomy.
loss of our understanding of reality. Real- Historical Interpretation,” in Gary North, 17. Schlossberg, 22–23.
ity is inevitably distorted to the extent Foundations of Christian Scholarship (Val- 18. Ibid., 24. Also see North, Foundations of
that history has been lost. In Exodus 1, lecito, CA: Ross House Books, 1979), 57. Christian Scholarship, 53.

www.chalcedon.edu July/August 2008 | Faith for All of Life 27


Featured Article

The Biblical Philosophy of History


and Worldview Evangelism
Roger Schultz

Y ears ago Francis


Schaeffer, while
teaching at Covenant
defense at the Areopagus four centuries
earlier, and Luke deliberately seems to
make this parallel.
the Areopagites would believe (v. 34),
but most sneered at his words.
Likewise, the worldview of our day
Theological Seminary, Paul’s audience clearly had a philo- is humanistic and modern (or postmod-
was invited to lecture sophical bent, and Luke underscores ern). Rushdoony notes that modernism
at Yale University. This the presence of Stoic and Epicurean “is the belief in the relativism of all truth,
was a great opportunity, and Schaef- philosophers. The Stoics were pantheistic coupled with an evolutionary concept
fer asked his colleagues to recommend and believed in a cosmic determinism, of man and history.” Elsewhere he states
Biblical topics and lecture ideas. One the need to cultivate virtue, and human that “the faith of the modern age is
professor friend quickly urged him to freedom and self-sufficiency. Epicureans humanism, a religious belief in the suf-
give a gospel message on John 3:16. But were polytheistic and materialistic, did ficiency of man as his own lord, his own
Schaeffer decided against it, arguing not believe in the immortality of the source of law, his own savior.”
that his humanistic and post-Christian soul, and are best remembered for their So what does Paul say to his plu-
audience would have an insufficient emphasis on the pursuit of pleasure. Ele- ralistic, postmodern Greek listeners?
framework to understand the Christian ments of Stoic and Epicurean philoso- He does not say, “God loves you and
message. Instead, he thought his message phy linger in intellectual circles today. has a wonderful plan for your life!”
should be on Genesis 1 and should cover Paul’s audience had a surpris- His approach is quite different than
God’s sovereignty, the Biblical account of ingly modern attitude. Athenians were the simplistic seeker-friendly slogans
origins, and man’s creation in the image religiously pluralistic, for instance, and of watery postmodern evangelicalism.
of God. Calling this “worldview evan- Paul was distressed by the number of Instead, Paul presents a gospel-oriented
gelism,” Schaeffer insisted that this was idols that he saw in the city (v. 16). The apologetical message anchored in a
the best way of opening contact with an intellectuals at Mars Hill, Luke further Biblical philosophy of history. He offers
ignorant, disillusioned, and skeptical au- emphasizes, spent all their time listen- a comprehensive worldview, stressing
dience. (Afterwards, Schaeffer added, the ing to novel theories, always hoping to the sovereignty of God, His total control
InterVarsity students could follow up by of life, and His providential governance
hear “some new thing” (v. 21). Elsewhere
evangelizing their interested classmates.) of history. The message concludes with
Paul describes those of a similar mindset
Schaeffer’s choice of text and theme for reference to Christ and His Resurrection,
who are “always learning and never able
the Yale lecture is intriguing—and it fol- the movement of history to a final judg-
to come to the knowledge of the truth”
lows precisely the apologetic approach of ment, and an urgent call to repentance.
(2 Tim. 3:7 NKJV). That mindset fits
the Apostle Paul. But before issuing the call to repentance
twenty-first-century Americans as nicely
and salvation, the Apostle offers an over-
Pauline Apologetics as first-century Athenians.
arching view of history. This would have
Acts 17 records Paul’s famous dis- The Areopagite worldview was
been a stunning message for Areopagite
course at Mars Hill, a classic of Christian humanistic, skeptical, relativistic, and
intellectuals.
apologetics. In Athens, Paul evangelized pluralistic. All things were tolerated. The
divergent audiences: religious (in the philosophers were titillated by the novel Paul versus the Postmodernists
synagogue, v. 17a), economic (in the and innovative, and they reveled in their After an initial point of contact, Paul
marketplace, v. 17b), academic (phi- agnostic sophistry. (The fact that they stresses the absolute sovereignty of God
losophers, v. 18), and political (at the erected a temple to the “unknown” God (vv. 24–25). God was Lord of heaven
Areopagus, v. 19). Paul’s appearance be- indicates a certain detached, postmodern and earth, having made all things. He
fore the assembled Athenian leaders and snobbery.) Paul’s message was a frontal was completely transcendent, needing
intellectuals is reminiscent of Socrates’ challenge to their worldview. A few of nothing from men. (He certainly did not

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Faith for All of Life
depend on temples built by the hands or ethnocentric Greek audience, which was phies of history will have some doctrine
on man’s idolatrous worship.) inclined to look down on outsiders as of sovereignty, providence, and predes-
Paul’s attention to God’s sovereignty uncivilized barbarians. Paul’s message tination. Years ago a nominal Christian
establishes an essential starting point for is straightforward: man was created by student, having listened to my lecture
historical consideration. Every view of God, is totally dependent on God for on Reformation theology, expressed her
history must begin with some founda- life, is subject to judgment, and is called disapproval of Calvin’s view of predes-
tion or starting point or organizing to repentance. tination. I knew that the student was
principle. This fundamental principle of Paul’s introduction of Biblical interested in zodiac signs. “Why do you
sovereignty may be explicit or implicit, anthropology at Mars Hill raises basic believe that the stars and signs influence
acknowledged or ignored—but it always questions of history. How does the your life,” I asked, “but refuse to believe
exists. As a university student major- historian view man and human society? that the sovereign God of the universe
ing in history and philosophy, I was For humanists, man is essentially good, providentially controls the lives of His
intrigued by Rushdoony’s The Biblical perhaps neutral, or, at worst, somewhat creatures?” Men will inevitably believe in
Philosophy of History. For the first time ignorant and in need of a little educa- some kind of providence. If they don’t
I saw a philosophically astute, Bibli- tion. What kind of creature is man? Is believe in the providence and purpose
cally faithful, and comprehensive view he an economic creature (motivated of God, they will believe in a surrogate
of God’s sovereignty and history. And primarily by money), a political creature providence—the power of the zodiac,
that is exactly how Paul starts with the (influenced largely by a quest for power), biological determinism, the omnipotent
Athenian philosophers. a sexual being (for whom sexuality is state, individual will to power, some
Like Schaeffer at Yale, Paul also the dominant concern), or a religious impersonal “force,” etc.
stressed creation (v. 24). The idea of creature? The Biblical perspective is clear. God’s eternal decrees and provi-
creation ex nihilo was as objectionable Man is made in the image of God, is dential governance of history is what
to Hellenistic humanists two thousand a covenant breaker, is deserving of the gives history meaning. In The One and
years ago as it is to humanists today. But wrath of God, and needs a savior. the Many, Rushdoony clearly states the
the essential principle of divine creation Paul further emphasizes God’s Christian position: “[B]ecause the world
has been constantly affirmed by God’s providence (vv. 26, 28). God gives life is totally under God and is absolutely
people (Neh. 9:6). Early Christians and breath to all creation. The nations determined by Him, it is therefore a
instantly made it part of their corporate of earth are under the sovereign control world with purpose and meaning. His-
worship and testimony. In Acts 4:24, of God, who has determined their times tory is rescued from meaninglessness. It
for instance, when Christians gave a and the boundaries of their habitations. is no longer brute factuality, meaningless
spontaneous prayer of thanks—it was a Ben Franklin evidenced this confidence and uninterpreted facts. It has purpose,
corporate prayer that stressed God’s cre- in God’s providence at the Constitu- meaning and direction, because God
ative work, His absolute sovereignty, and tional Congress, urging prayer and created it in terms of His ultimate decree
reminding delegates that “if a sparrow and purpose.”1
His providential governance of history.
cannot fall without His notice, a nation Paul’s message, finally, is Christo-
The Christian faith is not a discom-
centric, eschatological, and evangelistic
bobulated abstract and speculative faith. cannot rise without His assistance.”
(vv. 30–31). The Apostle’s preaching in
It is real and historical, emphasizing The Westminster Confession of Faith
Athens had emphasized Jesus and the
God’s work in time. The incarnation, (chapter 5) has a masterful discussion
Resurrection (17:18), and at his clos-
Resurrection, and ascension affirm what of God’s providence, which is worthy of
ing at Mars Hill he returns to the same
Christ did in space and time. Christians careful study. Some consider this a heavy
theme. History moves toward a final
further believe that time is linear, mov- theological doctrine and warn Christians
judgment, and this fact should motivate
ing by God’s power from creation to a about straying to the topic of provi-
men to repent. In short, doctrine and
culminating point. dence, as it is frequently controversial. It
history are not abstract considerations.
Paul’s address at Mars Hill also is notable, however, that Paul introduced
They should drive men to repentance
stresses a Biblical doctrine of man (v. the topic of providence early in his Mars
and salvation in Christ.
26). Since all men are formed from “one Hill discourse, even though speaking to a
blood,” there is emphasis on a common hostile and theologically green audience. Paul versus the Humanists
humanity. This may have surprised Paul’s All theological systems and philoso- In Romans 1:18–32, Paul further

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Faith for All of Life
describes the humanist mindset. He may these rebels over to a debased mind. history, and behind that philosophy of
have been thinking of the self-confident They become grotesquely immoral, history are certain pre-theoretical and es-
philosophers who sat around Mars Hill rebellious, hateful, and seditious. These sentially religious presuppositions. There
eager to learn some new thing. Paul’s reprobates know God’s judgments, know is no such thing as brute factuality, but
discussion provides an overview of man’s that they deserve death, and simply rather only interpreted factuality. The
depravity, human cultures, and societal do not care. Humanistic systems will historian’s report is always the report of a
declension. It is, in short, an overview of proclaim freedom and human autonomy perspective, a context, a framework.”2
humanism. but will inevitably end in degradation or No man can approach history with
Paul argues that man and humanis- in either anarchy or statism. Christ Col- absolute detachment and complete objec-
tic culture are in rebellion against God. lege, Lynchburg, Virginia, used to sell a tivity. “Neutralism,” Rushdoony observes
Though men know certain things about sweatshirt with a great Christian mes- in The Nature of the American System, “is
God, they “suppress the truth in un- sage. It showed a Bible and a cross and one of the persistent errors of the modern
righteousness” (v. 18 NKJV). They turn had a memorable inscription: “God’s law era.”3 Modern man makes himself and
from the truth of God and “exchange [it] or chaos!” his knowledge the sole source of autono-
for the lie” (v. 25 NKJV). For Paul, there Finally, humanistic cultures will face mous authority, he continues, and man is
is a significant epistemological shift—as the wrath and judgment of God. Paul’s the final “court of appeal.”
sinful man repudiates the truth of God burden in the first chapters of Romans Man always has some perspective,
that is everywhere present. There is also a was the same as in Acts 17. He wanted and religious presuppositions are inevi-
significant moral shift, as man repudiates to show that every man is left without table. What is unique about Christian
the truth in “unrighteousness.” It is for excuse, ready to face the wrath of God historians and academics is that their
this reason that the sovereign God must in judgment (Rom. 1:18). Depraved fundamental commitments are (or
first grant repentance to sinful man, rebels, however, don’t care—not only do- should be) clear. They have a central
which will lead in turn to a knowledge of ing these reprehensible things, but also commitment to Christ and Scripture.
the truth (2 Tim. 2:25). “giv[ing] hearty approval to those who They know how history began and
Humanistic culture and thought, practice them” (1:32 NAS). where it is headed. They know the Lord
furthermore, inevitably descend into So, how would the humanists of who guides history. As Rushdoony puts
idolatry. Sinful man falls into the grossest Romans 1 do history? How faithfully it in The Biblical Philosophy of History,
idolatry, exchanging the glory of God for would they write history books or teach “[T]he Christian accepts a world which
the image of beasts and worshipping the children in their schools? They will do is totally meaningful and in which every
creatures rather than the Creator. Even as a poor job—since Scripture attests that event moves in terms of God’s predes-
these pretentious rebels are transformed they have already exchanged the truth of tined purpose, and, when man accepts
into utter fools, they proclaim them- God for a lie, worshipped the creature, God as his Lord and Christ as his Savior,
selves to be wise. and given “hearty approval” to those every event works together for good to
Paul further argues that humanistic defying God. Contemporary humanistic him because he is now in harmony with
cultures descend into moral degradation. rebels will understand, write, and teach that meaningful destiny.”4
God gives these sinners over to their lusts history from their core presuppositions,
and depravities so that they may be dis- which are the presuppositions of rebel- Contemporary
honored. Moral perversions are, them- lion and apostasy. Humanistic Historiography
selves, a sign of God’s judgments. The In modern approaches to history,
larger, more systemic problem is rebel- Christian Presuppositionalism as in society, there is a repudiation of
lion against God, and perverse behavior Cornelius Van Til advanced a absolute truth—and certainly the truth
is simply a symptom of a deeper spiri- system of Biblical and presuppositional of Scripture. There are two versions of
tual crisis. Human corruption becomes apologetics, and his consistently Biblical this relativism. There is moral relativ-
increasingly manifest because God no insights can be applied to other disci- ism, where fixed and enduring ethical
longer restrains man’s fallen passions. plines, including history. Rushdoony’s standards are denied. There is epistemic
Paul further argues that humanist The Nature of the American System opens relativism, where man denies fixed stan-
cultures become revolutionary and sedi- with an explanation of a presupposi- dards of truth.
tious. Sinful man does not want to retain tional methodology for history. “Behind As Rushdoony notes, “[A] basic
the knowledge of God. So God gives the writing of history is a philosophy of premise of law and society today is rela-

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Faith for All of Life
tivism.” For the Christian, however, “an At this point, the little boy confessed to has such an effect, the Sovereign is no
absolute law set forth by the Absolute what he’d done. longer sovereign even in the temporal
God separates good from evil and pro- I was astonished by the story. The sphere: thenceforth priests are the real
tects good.” Biblical orthodoxy directly little fellow was in a Christian school— masters, and kings only their ministers
challenges the new creed of humanistic and had put his hand on the Bible and … [T]olerance should be given to all
relativism. lied through his teeth. But he was forced religions that tolerate others, so long as
In 1989 I defended my Ph.D. dis- to confess when confronted by the pre- their dogmas contain nothing contrary
sertation in history. The dissertation sumed infallibility of scientific evidence. to the duties of citizenship. But whoever
focused on Harry Rimmer, a prominent That is the new authority of our age. dares to say ‘Outside the Church is no
early-twentieth-century Presbyterian Because all standards and truths salvation,’ ought to be driven from the
apologist who was a pioneering creation- are relative, modern culture will stress State …”5 Those advocating a transcen-
ist. During the middle of the disserta- toleration. Everything is to be accepted dent view of God and the importance
tion defense, one of my liberal profes- or tolerated. The new creed of our age of salvation, then, are a challenge to the
sors jumped up from the table with a is “Diversity is good.” This meaningless state, are guilty of heresy, and cannot be
clenched fist and declared, “There are and content-void slogan is trumpeted tolerated. In a pluralistic society, Rush-
no absolutes!” This was, of course, a silly everywhere, including billboards and doony notes, man cannot “be under one
and inherently self-contradictory state- bumper stickers. law except by virtue of imperialism.”
ment. Unfortunately, many historians Some diversity is glorious. We know The new pluralism inevitably leads to
operate under this assumption: there are that Christ died to redeem a people from statism.
no absolutes. every nation and tongue, and throughout Ultimately, modern humanists have
Man cannot live in the absence of eternity a diverse group of saints will bless a religious agenda. Because man is a
absolute standards. Having rejected the the Savior. I suspect that modernists cel- spiritual creature, made in the image of
truth of God, man will create or embrace ebrate diversity for different reasons, as a God, he must have some focus of wor-
some surrogate authority. Freed from way of gaining acceptance for heterodox ship. Having set aside the true God, he
God’s authority, man will submit himself thinking and immoral behavior. will look for surrogate deities. As Rush-
to any and every kind of foolishness. No one, of course, will tolerate doony puts it, “The alternative to ‘In
A friend of mine once served as the absolute diversity. Toleration has its God we trust’ is ‘In man we trust,’ or in
headmaster of a Christian school. The limits. Few people would be so commit- reason, science, the experimental system,
school had a crisis one day when officials ted to religious diversity that they’d allow an elite, or some like entity. In any and
realized that someone had “dirtied” on the renewal of Aztec human sacrifices. every case it is a religious affirmation. The
the floor of the boys’ room. The circum- The key question is this: What are the presuppositions of all man’s thinking are
stantial evidence pointed to a persistent boundaries of freedom within a system? inescapably religious, and they are never
little troublemaker, but he had stead- For many modernists, pluralism is neutral.”
fastly denied his involvement. (He even a positive norm provided that one does All modernistic and postmodern
put his little hand on a Bible and swore not violate the humanistic and statist humanistic systems of thought will
that he was innocent.) creed. In modern America, most faiths eventually disintegrate into meaningless-
My friend called the little reprobate are tolerated as long as there is recogni- ness. “When man makes himself and his
in for an interview. “Do you know why tion that the state is sovereign. Two reason god over creation,” Rushdoony
I called you in?” he asked. The young- centuries ago, Rousseau hinted at the explains, “he thereupon destroys all
ster knew that it was for something that direction of modern pluralism in a dis- meaning in creation and leaves himself
had happened in the bathroom. “Before cussion of civil religion. He was happy to a chained and gibbering baboon, sitting
we begin,” my friend continued, “have encourage religion, so long as it recog- in terror on a wired electric chair in the
you ever heard of DNA evidence?” nized the sovereignty of the state, taught midst of a vast universe of nothingness.”
Somewhat nervously, the boy admitted good morals, and advocated toleration
that he had. “You know, don’t you,” my for all other religions. But he couldn’t The Christian Opportunity
friend continued, “that DNA evidence tolerate a religion that taught absolute Christians should be ready to con-
can be very accurate.” Now panicky, the principles. “Wherever theological intol- front the challenge of humanism and
boy agreed. “So,” my friend concluded, erance is admitted, it must inevitably postmodernism. Scripture has given us a
“Isn’t there something you’d like to say?” have some civil effect; and as soon as it clear charge in confronting the idolatries

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Faith for All of Life
of our age. The Great Commission gives It seems strange that Paul would, in that “Christian Social Ethics: Love, Justice, and
a comprehensive task—evangelizing the pagan setting, announce the conclusion Coercion,” is dated 2 February 1965, but
nations in terms of all that Christ has of history at the judgment of Christ. the letter’s place in the Billy Graham Cen-
commanded. As Paul puts it, “[We are] But he did—and it was a key part of his ter’s Archive suggests the editors reviewed
the article after the 1966 debacle.
casting down arguments and every high apologetic.
Of all the speeches given over the 28. “Evaluation of Manuscript,” 8 March
thing that exalts itself against the knowl-
1973, Archives of the Billy Graham Center,
edge of God, bringing every thought into centuries at Mars Hill, someone recently
Wheaton College Archives and Special Col-
captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 commented, only Paul’s remains. The lections, Wheaton, IL, collection 8, box 20,
Cor. 10:5 NKJV). Apostle’s words, recorded in Acts 17, folder 42.
Christians shouldn’t worry about point to God’s ultimate purposes in and 29. Harold O. J. Brown, “Theology, Apolo-
the crises of the modern age—be they over history through Jesus Christ. Those getics, and Ethics,” Christianity Today, 1
economic, political, religious, ecological, words are engraved on a bronze plaque March 1974, 70.
and educational. As Rushdoony ob- and are bolted to the bedrock at the 30. Terrill I. Elniff to R. J. Rushdoony, 23
served some forty years ago, “Modern Areopagus. October 1975, R. J. Rushdoony Library,
age has lost even the most elementary Chalcedon Foundation, Vallecito, CA.
1. Rousas John Rushdoony, The One and the
abilities … namely the ability to dis- Many (n.p.: Craig press, 1971), 359. 31. Rodney Clapp, “Democracy as Her-
cipline its children and maintain its esy,” Christianity Today, 20 February 1987,
2. Rousas John Rushdoony, The Nature of
authority. Without this, a culture is soon 17–23. Gary North authored a caustic re-
the American System (Vallecito, CA: Ross
sponse to Clapp that addresses many of the
dead.” He says, “The modern age gives House Books, 2001), 1.
article’s criticisms. See North, “Appendix B:
every evidence of approaching death. 3. Ibid., 77 Honest Reporting as Heresy,” Westminster’s
This is a cause, not for dismay, but for 4. R. J. Rushdoony, The Biblical Philosophy Confession: The Abandonment of Van Til’s
hope. The death of modernity makes of History (Vallecito, CA: Ross House books, Legacy (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian
possible a new culture, and such an rp 2000), 7. Economics, 1991), 317–341. North charges
event is always, however turbulent, an 5. Jean Jacques Rousseau, The Social Con- that Christianity Today initially agreed to run
exciting and challenging venture. The tract, Book IV. an article on Reconstructionism by John
dying culture loses its will to live. A new 6. R. J. Rushdoony, The One and the Many Hannah of Dallas Theological Seminary,
(n.p.: Craig Press, 1971), 370. but eventually rejected it telling him “that
culture, grounded in a new faith, restores
they had hoped for an essay that went into
that will to live even under very adverse the details about the Reconstructionists’ in-
circumstances.”6 McVicar … Pygmies cont. from page 18
fighting” (328). Given Christianity Today’s
Romans 1offers a grim overview of 26 April 1966, Archives of the Billy Graham past relationship with Rushdoony, this is
human culture and thought. The first Center, Wheaton College Archives and entirely plausible.
chapter doesn’t appear to leave much Special Collections, Wheaton, IL, collection 32. Rob Boston, “Thy Kingdom Come:
hope for the future. Yet the conclusion 8, box 20, folder 42. Christian Reconstructionists and God’s Law
of Romans offers much encouragement. 24. Carl F. H. Henry to R. J. Rushdoony, in America,” Church & State, 8 Septem-
Paul tells the Romans that “[t]he God of 11 January 1965, R. J. Rushdoony Library, ber1988, clearly used Clapp’s article as a
peace will soon crush Satan under your Chalcedon Foundation, Vallecito, CA. source. The two articles share several quota-
25. Henry carbon copied the letter and tions and bear a remarkable similarity in
feet” (16:20 NKJV). The great Epistle
editor’s comments to Pew, R. J. Rushdoony argumentation and organization. Boston’s
concludes with the confidence that the essay has been widely cited by Berlet, Clark-
gospel will go to all nations—leading to Library, Chalcedon Foundation, Vallecito,
CA. son, and Diamond. Clarkson amplified and
the obedience of faith (16:26). expanded the gist of Clapp’s article into a
26. R. J. Rushdoony to J. Howard Pew, 19
From the Areopagus where Paul major theme of his oft-cited book, Eternal
April 1966, R. J. Rushdoony Library, Chal-
spoke, one has a sweeping view of Ath- Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and
cedon Foundation, Vallecito, CA.
ens, including the historic Acropolis with Democracy (Monroe, MA.: Common Cour-
27. Undated exchange between Carl Henry age Press, 1997).
its magnificent structures and temples.
and a reviewer identified as “Jim,” Archives 33. “Briefs: North America,” Christianity
One could have seen the Temple of of the Billy Graham Center, Wheaton
Athena Nike (“Athena Victorious”)— Today, 2 April 2001, 25.
College Archives and Special Collec-
indicating the power and ultimate tri- tions, Wheaton, IL, collection 8, box 20,
umph of the patron goddess of Athens. folder 42. The article under consideration,

32 Faith for All of Life | July/August 2008 www.chalcedon.edu


Chalcedon Foundation Catalog Insert
Biblical Law
The Institute of Biblical Law (In three volumes, by R.J. Rushdoony) Volume I
Biblical Law is a plan for dominion under God, whereas its rejection is to claim dominion
on man’s terms. The general principles (commandments) of the law are discussed as well
as their specific applications (case law) in Scripture. Many consider this to be the author’s
most important work.
Hardback, 890 pages, indices, $45.00

Volume II, Law and Society


The relationship of Biblical Law to communion and community, the sociology of the
Sabbath, the family and inheritance, and much more are covered in the second volume.
Contains an appendix by Herbert Titus.
Or, buy Volumes 1 and 2 and
receive Volume 3 for FREE!
Hardback, 752 pages, indices, $35.00 (A savings of $25 off the $105.00
retail price)
Volume III, The Intent of the Law
“God’s law is much more than a legal code; it is a covenantal law. It establishes a personal relationship between God and man.” The first section
summarizes the case laws. The author tenderly illustrates how the law is for our good, and makes clear the difference between the sacrificial laws
and those that apply today. The second section vividly shows the practical implications of the law. The examples catch the reader’s attention; the
author clearly has had much experience discussing God’s law. The third section shows that would-be challengers to God’s law produce only poison
and death. Only God’s law can claim to express God’s “covenant grace in helping us.”
Hardback, 252 pages, indices, $25.00

Ten Commandments for Today (DVD)


Ethics remains at the center of discussion in sports, entertainment, politics and education as our culture searches for a
comprehensive standard to guide itself through the darkness of the modern age. Very few consider the Bible as the rule of
conduct, and God has been marginalized by the pluralism of our society.
This 12-part DVD collection contains an in-depth interview with the late Dr. R.J. Rushdoony on the application of God’s law
to our modern world. Each commandment is covered in detail as Dr. Rushdoony challenges the humanistic remedies that
have obviously failed. Only through God’s revealed will, as laid down in the Bible, can the standard for righteous living be
found. Rushdoony silences the critics of Christianity by outlining the rewards of obedience as well as the consequences of
disobedience to God’s Word.
In a world craving answers, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR TODAY provides an effective and coherent solution — one that is guaranteed success.
Includes 12 segments: an introduction, one segment on each commandment, and a conclusion.
2 DVDs, $30.00

Law and Liberty


By R.J. Rushdoony. This work examines various areas of life from a Biblical perspective. Every area of life must be brought under the
dominion of Christ and the government of God’s Word.
Paperback, 152 pages, $5.00

In Your Justice
By Edward J. Murphy. The implications of God’s law over the life of man and society.
Booklet, 36 pages, $2.00

The World Under God’s Law


A tape series by R.J. Rushdoony. Five areas of life are considered in the light of Biblical Law- the home, the church, government, economics, and the
school.
5 cassette tapes, RR418ST-5, $15.00

FREE Shipping on all orders thru Sept. 12, 2008 • For Faster Service www.ChalcedonStore.com
33
Education
The Philosophy of the Christian Curriculum
By R.J. Rushdoony. The Christian School represents a break with humanistic education, but, too often, in leaving the state school,
the Christian educator has carried the state’s humanism with him. A curriculum is not neutral: it is either a course in humanism or
training in a God-centered faith and life. The liberal arts curriculum means literally that course which trains students in the arts of
freedom. This raises the key question: is freedom in and of man or Christ? The Christian art of freedom, that is, the Christian liberal
arts curriculum, is emphatically not the same as the humanistic one. It is urgently necessary for Christian educators to rethink the
meaning and nature of the curriculum.
Paperback, 190 pages, index, $16.00

The Harsh Truth about Public Schools


By Bruce Shortt. This book combines a sound Biblical basis, rigorous research, straightforward, easily read language, and eminently
sound reasoning. It is based upon a clear understanding of God’s educational mandate to parents. It is a thoroughly documented
description of the inescapably anti-Christian thrust of any governmental school system and the inevitable results: moral relativism
(no fixed standards), academic dumbing down, far-left programs, near absence of discipline, and the persistent but pitiable
rationalizations offered by government education professionals.
Paperback, 464 pages, $22.00

Intellectual Schizophrenia
By R.J. Rushdoony. This book was a resolute call to arms for Christian’s to get their children out of the pagan public schools and
provide them with a genuine Christian education. Dr. Rushdoony had predicted that the humanist system, based on anti-Christian
premises of the Enlightenment, could only get worse. He knew that education divorced from God and from all transcendental
standards would produce the educational disaster and moral barbarism we have today. The title of this book is particularly
significant in that Dr. Rushdoony was able to identify the basic contradiction that pervades a secular society that rejects God’s
sovereignty but still needs law and order, justice, science, and meaning to life.
Paperback, 150 pages, index, $17.00

The Messianic Character of American Education


By R.J. Rushdoony. This study reveals an important part of American history: From Mann to the present, the state has used education
to socialize the child. The school’s basic purpose, according to its own philosophers, is not education in the traditional sense of the 3
R’s. Instead, it is to promote “democracy” and “equality,” not in their legal or civic sense, but in terms of the engineering of a socialized
citizenry. Public education became the means of creating a social order of the educator’s design. Such men saw themselves and the
school in messianic terms. This book was instrumental in launching the Christian school and homeschool movements.
Hardback, 410 pages, index, $20.00

Mathematics: Is God Silent?


By James Nickel. This book revolutionizes the prevailing understanding and teaching of math. The addition of this book is a must for
all upper-level Christian school curricula and for college students and adults interested in math or related fields of science and religion.
It will serve as a solid refutation for the claim, often made in court, that mathematics is one subject, which cannot be taught from a
distinctively Biblical perspective.
Revised and enlarged 2001 edition, Paperback, 408 pages, $22.00

The Foundations of Christian Scholarship


Edited by Gary North. These are essays developing the implications and meaning of the philosophy of Dr. Cornelius Van Til for every
area of life. The chapters explore the implications of Biblical faith for a variety of disciplines.
Paperback, 355 pages, indices, $24.00

The Victims of Dick and Jane


By Samuel L. Blumenfeld. America’s most effective critic of public education shows us how America’s public schools were remade
by educators who used curriculum to create citizens suitable for their own vision of a utopian socialist society. This collection of
essays will show you how and why America’s public education declined. You will see the educator-engineered decline of reading
skills. The author describes the causes for the decline and the way back to competent education methodologies that will result in a
self-educated, competent, and freedom-loving populace.
Paperback, 266 pages, index, $22.00

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34
Lessons Learned From Years of Homeschooling
After nearly a quarter century of homeschooling her children, Andrea Schwartz has experienced both the accomplishments
and challenges that come with being a homeschooling mom. And, she’s passionate about helping you learn her most valuable
lessons. Discover the potential rewards of making the world your classroom and God’s Word the foundation of everything you
teach. Now you can benefit directly from Andrea’s years of experience and obtain helpful insights to make your homeschooling
adventure God-honoring, effective, and fun.
Paperback, 107 pages, index, $14.00

American History and the Constitution


This Independent Republic
By Rousas John Rushdoony. First published in 1964, this series of essays gives important insight into American history by one
who could trace American development in terms of the Christian ideas which gave it direction. These essays will greatly alter
your understanding of, and appreciation for, American history. Topics discussed include: the legal issues behind the War of
Independence; sovereignty as a theological tenet foreign to colonial political thought and the Constitution; the desire for land as
a consequence of the belief in “inheriting the land” as a future blessing, not an immediate economic asset; federalism’s localism as
an inheritance of feudalism; the local control of property as a guarantee of liberty; why federal elections were long considered of
less importance than local politics; how early American ideas attributed to democratic thought were based on religious ideals of
communion and community; and the absurdity of a mathematical concept of equality being applied to people.
Paperback, 163 pages, index, $17.00

The Nature of the American System


By R.J. Rushdoony. Originally published in 1965, these essays were a continuation of the author’s previous work, This Independent
Republic, and examine the interpretations and concepts which have attempted to remake and rewrite America’s past and
present. “The writing of history then, because man is neither autonomous, objective nor ultimately creative, is always in terms of
a framework, a philosophical and ultimately religious framework in the mind of the historian…. To the orthodox Christian, the
shabby incarnations of the reigning historiographies are both absurd and offensive. They are idols, and he is forbidden to bow
down to them and must indeed wage war against them.”
Paperback, 180 pages, index, $18.00

American History to 1865 - NOW ON CLEARANCE... 50% OFF!


Tape series by R.J. Rushdoony. These tapes are the most theologically complete assessment of early American history available, yet
retain a clarity and vividness of expression that make them ideal for students. Rev. Rushdoony reveals a foundation of American
History of philosophical and theological substance. He describes not just the facts of history, but the leading motives and
movements in terms of the thinking of the day. Though this series does not extend beyond 1865, that year marked the beginning
of the secular attempts to rewrite history. There can be no understanding of American History without an understanding of the
ideas which undergirded its founding and growth. Set includes 18 tapes, student questions, and teacher’s answer key in album.
Tape 1 1. Motives of Discovery & Exploration I Tape 10 19. The Jefferson Administration,
2. Motives of Discovery & Exploration II the Tripolitan War & the War of 1812
Tape 2 3. Mercantilism 20. Religious Voluntarism on the Frontier, I
4. Feudalism, Monarchy & Colonies/The Fairfax Resolves 1-8 Tape 11 21. Religious Voluntarism on the Frontier, II
Tape 3 5. The Fairfax Resolves 9-24 22. The Monroe & Polk Doctrines
6. The Declaration of Independence & Tape 12 23. Voluntarism & Social Reform
Articles of Confederation 24. Voluntarism & Politics
Tape 4 7. George Washington: A Biographical Sketch Tape 13 25. Chief Justice John Marshall: Problems of
8. The U. S. Constitution, I Political Voluntarism
Tape 5 9. The U. S. Constitution, II 26. Andrew Jackson: His Monetary Policy
10. De Toqueville on Inheritance & Society Tape 14 27. The Mexican War of 1846 / Calhoun’s Disquisition
Tape 6 11. Voluntary Associations & the Tithe 28. De Toqueville on Democratic Culture
12. Eschatology & History Tape 15 29. De Toqueville on Equality & Individualism
Tape 7 13. Postmillennialism & the War of Independence 30. Manifest Destiny
14. The Tyranny of the Majority Tape 16 31. The Coming of the Civil War Clearance Sale
Tape 8 15. De Toqueville on Race Relations in America 32. De Toqueville on the Family on “American History
16. The Federalist Administrations Tape 17 33. De Toqueville on Democracy & Power to 1865” cassettes
Tape 9 17. The Voluntary Church, I
18. The Voluntary Church, II
34.
Tape 18 35.
The Interpretation of History, I
The Interpretation of History, II
Only $45.00
(50% off)
18 tapes in album, RR144ST-18, Set of “American History to 1865”, $90.00

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35
Retreat From Liberty
A tape set by R.J. Rushdoony. 3 lessons on “The American Indian,”“A Return to Slavery,” and “The United Nations – A Religious Dream.”
3 cassette tapes, RR251ST-3, $9.00

The Influence of Historic Christianity on Early America


By Archie P. Jones. Early America was founded upon the deep, extensive influence of Christianity inherited from the medieval
period and the Protestant Reformation. That priceless heritage was not limited to the narrow confines of the personal life of the
individual, nor to the ecclesiastical structure. Christianity positively and predominately (though not perfectly) shaped culture,
education, science, literature, legal thought, legal education, political thought, law, politics, charity, and missions.
Booklet, 88 pages, $6.00

The Future of the Conservative Movement


Edited by Andrew Sandlin. The Future of the Conservative Movement explores the history, accomplishments and decline of the
conservative movement, and lays the foundation for a viable substitute to today’s compromising, floundering conservatism.
Because the conservative movement, despite its many sound features (including anti-statism and anti-Communism), was not
anchored in an unchangeable standard, it eventually was hijacked from within and transformed into a scaled-down version of the
very liberalism it was originally calculated to combat.
Booklet, 67 pages, $6.00

The United States: A Christian Republic


By R.J. Rushdoony. The author demolishes the modern myth that the United States was founded by deists or humanists bent on creating a secular
republic.
Pamphlet, 7 pages, $1.00

Biblical Faith and American History


By R.J. Rushdoony. America was a break with the neoplatonic view of religion that dominated the medieval church. The Puritans and other groups
saw Scripture as guidance for every area of life because they viewed its author as the infallible Sovereign over every area. America’s fall into
Arminianism and revivalism, however, was a return to the neoplatonic error that transferred the world from Christ’s shoulders to man’s. The author
saw a revival ahead in Biblical faith.
Pamphlet, 12 pages, $1.00

World History
A Christian Survey of World History
12 cassettes with notes, questions, and answer key in an attractive album
By R.J. Rushdoony. From tape 3: “Can you see why a knowledge of history is important—so that we can see the issues
as our Lord presented them against the whole backboard of history and to see the battle as it is again lining up? Because
again we have the tragic view of ancient Greece; again we have the Persian view—tolerate both good and evil; again we
have the Assyrian-Babylonian-Egyptian view of chaos as the source of regeneration. And we must therefore again find our
personal and societal regeneration in Jesus Christ and His Word—all things must be made new in terms of His Word.”
Twelve taped lessons give an overview of history from ancient times to the 20th century as only Rev. Rushdoony could.
Text includes fifteen chapters of class notes covering ancient history through the Reformation. Text also includes review
questions covering the tapes and questions for thought and discussion. Album includes 12 tapes, notes, and answer key.
Tape 1 1. Time and History: Why History is Important Tape 7 9. New Humanism or Medieval Period
Tape 2 2. Israel, Egypt, and the Ancient Near East Tape 8 10. The Reformation
Tape 3 3. Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece and Jesus Christ Tape 9 11. Wars of Religion – So Called
Tape 4 4. The Roman Republic and Empire 12. The Thirty Years War
Tape 5 5. The Early Church Tape 10 13. France: Louis XIV through Napoleon
6. Byzantium Tape 11 14. England: The Puritans through Queen Victoria
Tape 6 7. Islam Tape 12 15. 20th Century: The Intellectual – Scientific Elite
8. The Frontier Age

12 tapes in album, RR160ST-12, Set of “A Christian Survey of World History”, $75.00


Clearance Sale
on “World History” cassettes
Only $37.50
(50% off)

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36
The Biblical Philosophy of History
By R.J. Rushdoony. For the orthodox Christian who grounds his philosophy of history on the doctrine of creation, the mainspring
of history is God. Time rests on the foundation of eternity, on the eternal decree of God. Time and history therefore have meaning
because they were created in terms of God’s perfect and totally comprehensive plan. The humanist faces a meaningless world
in which he must strive to create and establish meaning. The Christian accepts a world which is totally meaningful and in
which every event moves in terms of God’s purpose; he submits to God’s meaning and finds his life therein. This is an excellent
introduction to Rushdoony. Once the reader sees Rushdoony’s emphasis on God’s sovereignty over all of time and creation, he
will understand his application of this presupposition in various spheres of life and thought.
Paperback, 138 pages, $22.00

James I: The Fool as King


By Otto Scott. In this study, Otto Scott writes about one of the “holy” fools of humanism who worked against the faith from within.
This is a major historical work and marvelous reading.
Hardback, 472 pages, $20.00

Church History
The “Atheism” of the Early Church
By Rousas John Rushdoony. Early Christians were called “heretics” and “atheists” when they denied the gods of Rome, in particular
the divinity of the emperor and the statism he embodied in his personality cult. These Christians knew that Jesus Christ, not the
state, was their Lord and that this faith required a different kind of relationship to the state than the state demanded. Because
Jesus Christ was their acknowledged Sovereign, they consciously denied such esteem to all other claimants. Today the church
must take a similar stand before the modern state.
Paperback, 64 pages, $12.00

The Foundations of Social Order: Studies in the Creeds and Councils of the Early Church
By R.J. Rushdoony. Every social order rests on a creed, on a concept of life and law, and represents a religion in action. The basic
faith of a society means growth in terms of that faith. Now the creeds and councils of the early church, in hammering out
definitions of doctrines, were also laying down the foundations of Christendom with them. The life of a society is its creed; a
dying creed faces desertion or subversion readily. Because of its indifference to its creedal basis in Biblical Christianity, western
civilization is today facing death and is in a life and death struggle with humanism.
Paperback, 197 pages, index, $16.00

Philosophy
The Death of Meaning
By Rousas John Rushdoony. For centuries on end, humanistic philosophers have produced endless books and treatises which
attempt to explain reality without God or the mediatory work of His Son, Jesus Christ. Modern philosophy has sought to explain
man and his thought process without acknowledging God, His Revelation, or man’s sin. God holds all such efforts in derision and
subjects their authors and adherents to futility. Philosophers who rebel against God are compelled to abandon meaning itself, for
they possess neither the tools nor the place to anchor it. The works of darkness championed by philosophers past and present
need to be exposed and reproved.
In this volume, Dr. Rushdoony clearly enunciates each major philosopher’s position and its implications, identifies the intellectual
and moral consequences of each school of thought, and traces the dead-end to which each naturally leads. There is only one foundation. Without
Christ, meaning and morality are anchored to shifting sand, and a counsel of despair prevails. This penetrating yet brief volume provides clear
guidance, even for laymen unfamiliar with philosophy.
Paperback, 180 pages, index, $18.00

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37
The Word of Flux: Modern Man and the Problem of Knowledge
By R.J. Rushdoony. Modern man has a problem with knowledge. He cannot accept God’s Word about the world or anything else,
so anything which points to God must be called into question. Man, once he makes himself ultimate, is unable to know anything
but himself. Because of this impass, modern thinking has become progressively pragmatic. This book will lead the reader to
understand that this problem of knowledge underlies the isolation and self-torment of modern man. Can you know anything if
you reject God and His revelation? This book takes the reader into the heart of modern man’s intellectual dilemma.
Paperback, 127 pages, indices, $19.00

To Be As God: A Study of Modern Thought Since the Marquis De Sade


By R.J. Rushdoony. This monumental work is a series of essays on the influential thinkers and ideas in modern times. The author
begins with De Sade, who self-consciously broke with any Christian basis for morality and law. Enlightenment thinking began
with nature as the only reality, and Christianity was reduced to one option among many. It was then, in turn, attacked as anti-
democratic and anti-freedom for its dogmatic assertion of the supernatural. Literary figures such as Shelly, Byron, Whitman, and
more are also examined, for the Enlightenment presented both the intellectual and the artist as replacement for the theologian
and his church. Ideas, such as “the spirit of the age,” truth, reason, Romanticism, persona, and Gnosticism are related to the desire
to negate God and Christian ethics. Reading this book will help you understand the need to avoid the syncretistic blending of
humanistic philosophy with the Christian faith.
Paperback, 230 pages, indices, $21.00

By What Standard?
By R.J. Rushdoony. An introduction into the problems of Christian philosophy. It focuses on the philosophical system of Dr.
Cornelius Van Til, which in turn is founded upon the presuppositions of an infallible revelation in the Bible and the necessity of
Christian theology for all philosophy. This is Rushdoony’s foundational work on philosophy.
Hardback, 212 pages, index, $14.00

The One and the Many


By R.J. Rushdoony. Subtitled Studies in the Philosophy of Order and Ultimacy, this work discusses the problem of understanding
unity vs. particularity, oneness vs. individuality. “Whether recognized or not, every argument and every theological, philosophical,
political, or any other exposition is based on a presupposition about man, God, and society—about reality. This presupposition
rules and determines the conclusion; the effect is the result of a cause. And one such basic presupposition is with reference to the
one and the many.” The author finds the answer in the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity.
Paperback, 375 pages, index, $26.00

The Flight from Humanity


By R.J. Rushdoony. Subtitled A Study of the Effect of Neoplatonism on Christianity.
Neoplatonism is a Greek philosophical assumption about the world. It views that which is form or spirit (such as mind) as good
and that which is physical (flesh) as evil. But Scripture says all of man fell into sin, not just his flesh. The first sin was the desire to
be as god, determining good and evil apart from God (Gen. 3:5). Neoplatonism presents man’s dilemma as a metaphysical one,
whereas Scripture presents it as a moral problem. Basing Christianity on this false Neoplatonic idea will always shift the faith from
the Biblical perspective. The ascetic quest sought to take refuge from sins of the flesh but failed to address the reality of sins of the
heart and mind. In the name of humility, the ascetics manifested arrogance and pride. This pagan idea of spirituality entered the
church and is the basis of some chronic problems in Western civilization.
Paperback, 66 pages, $5.00

Humanism, the Deadly Deception


A tape series by R.J. Rushdoony. Six lessons present humanism as a religious faith of sinful men. Humanistic views of morality and law are contrasted
with the Christian view of faith and providence.
3 cassette tapes, RR137ST-3, $9.00

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38
Psychology
Politics of Guilt and Pity Freud
By R.J. Rushdoony. From the foreword by Steve By R.J. Rushdoony. For years this compact examination
Schlissel: “Rushdoony sounds the clarion call of liberty of Freud has been out of print. And although both
for all who remain oppressed by Christian leaders who Freud and Rushdoony have passed on, their ideas are
wrongfully lord it over the souls of God’s righteous still very much in collision. Freud declared war upon
ones.… I pray that the entire book will not only guilt and sought to eradicate the primary source
instruct you in the method and content of a Biblical to Western guilt — Christianity. Rushdoony shows
worldview, but actually bring you further into the conclusively the error of Freud’s thought and the
glorious freedom of the children of God. Those who walk in wisdom’s disastrous consequences of his influence in society.
ways become immune to the politics of guilt and pity.”
Paperback, 74 pages, $13.00
Hardback, 371 pages, index, $20.00
The Cure of Souls:
Revolt Against Maturity Recovering the Biblical Doctrine of Confession
By. R.J. Rushdoony. The Biblical doctrine of psychology
is a branch of theology dealing with man as a fallen By R. J. Rushdoony. In The Cure of Souls: Recovering
creature marked by a revolt against maturity. Man the Biblical Doctrine of Confession, R. J. Rushdoony
was created a mature being with a responsibility cuts through the misuse of Romanism and modern
to dominion and cannot be understood from the psychology to restore the doctrine of confession to
Freudian child, nor the Darwinian standpoint of a a Biblical foundation—one that is covenantal and
long biological history. Man’s history is a short one Calvinstic. Without a true restoration of Biblical confes-
filled with responsibility to God. Man’s psychological problems are sion, the Christian’s walk is impeded by the remains of sin. This volume
therefore a resistance to responsibility, i.e. a revolt against maturity. is an effort in reversing this trend.
Hardback, 320 pages with index, $26.00
Hardback, 334 pages, index, $18.00

Science
The Mythology of Science
By R.J. Rushdoony. This book points out the fraud of the empirical claims of much modern science since Charles Darwin. This
book is about the religious nature of evolutionary thought, how these religious presuppositions underlie our modern intellectual
paradigm, and how they are deferred to as sacrosanct by institutions and disciplines far removed from the empirical sciences.
The “mythology” of modern science is its religious devotion to the myth of evolution. Evolution “so expresses or coincides with
the contemporary spirit that its often radical contradictions and absurdities are never apparent, in that they express the basic
presuppositions, however untenable, of everyday life and thought.” In evolution, man is the highest expression of intelligence and
reason, and such thinking will not yield itself to submission to a God it views as a human cultural creation, useful, if at all, only in
a cultural context. The basis of science and all other thought will ultimately be found in a higher ethical and philosophical context; whether or not
this is seen as religious does not change the nature of that context. “Part of the mythology of modern evolutionary science is its failure to admit that
it is a faith-based paradigm.”
Paperback, 134 pages, $17.00

Alive: An Enquiry into the Origin and Meaning of Life


By Dr. Magnus Verbrugge, M.D. This study is of major importance as a critique of scientific theory, evolution, and contemporary
nihilism in scientific thought. Dr. Verbrugge, son-in-law of the late Dr. H. Dooyeweerd and head of the Dooyeweerd Foundation,
applies the insights of Dooyeweerd’s thinking to the realm of science. Animism and humanism in scientific theory are brilliantly
discussed.
Paperback, 159 pages, $14.00

Creation According to the Scriptures


Edited by P. Andrew Sandlin. Subtitled: A Presuppositional Defense of Literal Six-Day Creation, this symposium by thirteen authors
is a direct frontal assault on all waffling views of Biblical creation. It explodes the “Framework Hypothesis,” so dear to the hearts of
many respectability-hungry Calvinists, and it throws down the gauntlet to all who believe they can maintain a consistent view
of Biblical infallibility while abandoning literal, six-day creation. It is a must reading for all who are observing closely the gradual
defection of many allegedly conservative churches and denominations, or who simply want a greater grasp of an orthodox, God-
honoring view of the Bible.
Paperback, 159 pages, $18.00

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39
Economics
Making Sense of Your Dollars: A Biblical Approach to Wealth
By Ian Hodge. The author puts the creation and use of wealth in their Biblical context. Debt has put the economies of nations and
individuals in dangerous straits. This book discusses why a business is the best investment, as well as the issues of debt avoidance
and insurance. Wealth is a tool for dominion men to use as faithful stewards.
Paperback, 192 pages, index, $12.00

Larceny in the Heart: The Economics of Satan and the Inflationary State
By R.J. Rushdoony. In this study, first published under the title Roots of Inflation, the reader sees why envy often causes the
most successful and advanced members of society to be deemed criminals. The reader is shown how envious man finds any
superiority in others intolerable and how this leads to a desire for a leveling. The author uncovers the larceny in the heart of man
and its results. See how class warfare and a social order based on conflict lead to disaster. This book is essential reading for an
understanding of the moral crisis of modern economics and the only certain long-term cure.
Paperback, 144 pages, indices, $18.00

Christianity and Capitalism


By R.J. Rushdoony. In a simple, straightforward style, the Christian case for capitalism is presented. Capital, in the form of individual and family
property, is protected in Scripture and is necessary for liberty.
Pamphlet, 8 pages, $1.00

A Christian View of Vocation: The Glory of the Mundane


By Terry Applegate. To many Christians, business is a “dirty” occupation fit only for greedy, manipulative unbelievers. The author, a successful
Christian businessman, explodes this myth in this hard-hitting title.
Pamphlet, 12 pages, $1.00

Biblical Studies
Genesis, Volume I of Commentaries on the Pentateuch
By Rousas John Rushdoony. Genesis begins the Bible, and is foundational to it. In recent years, it has become commonplace
for both humanists and churchmen to sneer at anyone who takes Genesis 1-11 as historical. Yet to believe in the myth of
evolution is to accept trillions of miracles to account for our cosmos. Spontaneous generation, the development of something
out of nothing, and the blind belief in the miraculous powers of chance, require tremendous faith. Darwinism is irrationality
and insanity compounded. Theology without literal six-day creationism becomes alien to the God of Scripture because it turns
from the God Who acts and Whose Word is the creative word and the word of power, to a belief in process as god. The god of
the non-creationists is the creation of man and a figment of their imagination. They must play games with the Bible to vindicate
their position. Evolution is both naive and irrational. Its adherents violate the scientific canons they profess by their fanatical and
intolerant belief. The entire book of Genesis is basic to Biblical theology. The church needs to re-study it to recognize its centrality.
Hardback, 297 pages, indices, $45.00

Exodus, Volume II of Commentaries on the Pentateuch


Essentially, all of mankind is on some sort of an exodus. However, the path of fallen man is vastly different from that of the
righteous. Apart from Jesus Christ and His atoning work, the exodus of a fallen humanity means only a further descent from
sin into death. But in Christ, the exodus is now a glorious ascent into the justice and dominion of the everlasting Kingdom of
God. Therefore, if we are to better understand the gracious provisions made for us in the “promised land” of the New Covenant,
a thorough examination into the historic path of Israel as described in the book of Exodus is essential. It is to this end that this
volume was written.
Hardback, 554 pages, indices, $45.00

Sermons on Exodus - 128 lectures by R.J. Rushdoony on mp3 (2 CDs), $60.00


Save by getting the book and 2 CDs together for only $95.00

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Leviticus, Volume III of Commentaries on the Pentateuch
Much like the book of Proverbs, any emphasis upon the practical applications of God’s law is readily shunned in pursuit of more
“spiritual” studies. Books like Leviticus are considered dull, overbearing, and irrelevant. But man was created in God’s image and
is duty-bound to develop the implications of that image by obedience to God’s law. The book of Leviticus contains over ninety
references to the word holy. The purpose, therefore, of this third book of the Pentateuch is to demonstrate the legal foundation of
holiness in the totality of our lives. This present study is dedicated to equipping His church for that redemptive mission.
Hardback, 449 pages, indices, $45.00

Sermons on Leviticus - 79 lectures by R.J. Rushdoony on mp3 (1 CD), $40.00


Save by getting the book and CD together for only $76.00

Numbers, Volume IV of Commentaries on the Pentateuch


The Lord desires a people who will embrace their responsibilities. The history of Israel in the wilderness is a sad narrative of a people
with hearts hardened by complaint and rebellion to God’s ordained authorities. They were slaves, not an army. They would recognize
the tyranny of Pharaoh but disregard the servant-leadership of Moses. God would judge the generation He led out of captivity, while
training a new generation to conquer Canaan. The book of Numbers reveals God’s dealings with both generations. The rebellious in
Israel are judged incessantly while a census is taken to number the armies of Israel according to their tribes. This was an assessment
of strength and a means to encourage the younger generation to view themselves as God’s army and not Pharaoh’s slaves.
Hardback, index, 428 pages $45.00

Sermons on Numbers - 66 lectures by R.J. Rushdoony on mp3 (1 CD), $40.00


Save by getting the book and CD together for only $76.00

Chariots of Prophetic Fire: Studies in Elijah and Elisha


By R. J. Rushdoony. See how close Israel’s religious failure resembles our own! Read this to see how the modern Christian is again
guilty of Baal worship, of how inflation-fed prosperity caused a loosening of morals, syncretism and a decline in educational
performance. As in the days of Elijah and Elisha, it is once again said to be a virtue to tolerate evil and condemn those who do
not. This book will challenge you to resist compromise and the temptation of expediency. It will help you take a stand by faith for
God’s truth in a culture of falsehoods.
Hardback, 163 pages, indices, $30.00

The Gospel of John


By R.J. Rushdoony. In this commentary the author maps out the glorious gospel of John, starting from the obvious parallel to
Genesis 1 (“In the beginning was the Word”) and through to the glorious conclusion of Christ’s death and resurrection. Nothing
more clearly reveals the gospel than Christ’s atoning death and His resurrection. They tell us that Jesus Christ has destroyed the
power of sin and death. John therefore deliberately limits the number of miracles he reports in order to point to and concentrate
on our Lord’s death and resurrection. The Jesus of history is He who made atonement for us, died, and was resurrected. His life
cannot be understood apart from this, nor can we know His history in any other light. This is why John’s “testimony is true,” and,
while books filling the earth could not contain all that could be said, the testimony given by John is “faithful.”
Hardback, 320 pages, indices, $26.00

Companion tape series to The Gospel of John


A cassette series by R.J. Rushdoony. Seventy sermons cover John’s entire gospel and parallel the chapters in the author’s commentary, The Gospel of
John, making this a valuable group Bible study series.
39 cassette tapes, RR197ST-39, $108.00

Romans and Galatians


By R.J. Rushdoony. From the author’s introduction: “I do not disagree with the liberating power of the Reformation interpretation,
but I believe that it provides simply the beginning of our understanding of Romans, not its conclusion....
The great problem in the church’s interpretation of Scripture has been its ecclesiastical orientation, as though God speaks only to
the church, and commands only the church. The Lord God speaks in and through His Word to the whole man, to every man, and
to every area of life and thought…. To assume that the Triune Creator of all things is in His word and person only relevant to the
church is to deny His Lordship or sovereignty. If we turn loose the whole Word of God onto the church and the world, we shall
see with joy its power and glory. This is the purpose of my brief comments on Romans.”
Hardback, 446 pages, indices, $24.00

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41
Companion tape series to Romans and Galatians Galatians - “Living by Faith”
Romans - “Living by Faith” A cassette series by R.J. Rushdoony. These nineteen sermons completed
A cassette series by R.J. Rushdoony. Sixty-three sermons on Paul’s his study and commentary.
epistle. Use as group Bible study with Romans and Galatians.
10 cassette tapes, RR415ST-10, $30.00
32 cassette tapes, RR414 ST-32, $96.00

Hebrews, James and Jude


By R.J. Rushdoony. There is a resounding call in Hebrews, which we cannot forget without going astray: “Let us go forth therefore
unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach” (13:13). This is a summons to serve Christ the Redeemer-King fully and faithfully,
without compromise. When James, in his epistle, says that faith without works is dead, he tells us that faith is not a mere matter
of words, but it is of necessity a matter of life. “Pure religion and undefiled” requires Christian charity and action. Anything short
of this is a self-delusion. James’s letter is a corrective the church needs badly. Jude similarly recalls us to Jesus Christ’s apostolic
commission, “Remember ye the words which have been spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 17). Jude’s
letter reminds us of the necessity for a new creation beginning with us, and of the inescapable triumph of the Kingdom of God.
Hardback, 260 pages, $30.00

Companion tape series to Hebrews, James and Jude Exegetical Sermon Series by Rev. Mark R. Rushdoony

Hebrew and James - “The True Mediator” Galatians - “Heresy in Galatia”


A tape series by R.J. Rushdoony. 48 lessons Hebrews and James. 10 lessons. 5 cassette tapes, MR100ST-5, $15.00
26 cassette tapes, RR198ST-26, $75.00 Ephesians – “Partakers of God’s Promise”
24 lessons. 12 cassette tapes, MR108ST-12, $36.00
Jude - “Enemies in the Church”
Colossians - “The Sufficiency of Christ”
A tape series by R.J. Rushdoony. 4 lessons on Jude by R.J. Rushdoony.
10 lessons. 5 cassette tapes, MR101ST-5, $15.00
2 cassette tapes, RR400ST-2, $9.00
I Timothy – “Right Doctrine and Practice”
27 lessons. 14 cassette tapes, MR102ST-14, $42.00
More Exegetical Tape Series by Rev. R.J. Rushdoony
II Timothy – “Faithfulness and Diligence”
Deuteronomy - “The Law and the Family” 14 lessons. 7 cassette tapes, MR106ST-7, $21.00
110 lessons. 63 cassette tapes, RR187ST-63, $168.00
Titus – “Speak with All Authority”
The Sermon on the Mount 11 lessons. 6 cassette tapes, MR105ST-6, $18.00
25 lessons. 13 cassette tapes, RR412ST-13, $39.00
Philemon – “For My Son, Onesimus”
I Corinthians - “Godly Social Order” 4 lessons. 2 cassette tapes, MR107ST-2, $6.00
47 lessons. 25 cassette tapes, RR417ST-25, $75.00
“Doers of the Word” - Sermons in James
II Corinthians - “Godly Social Order” 7 lessons. 4 cassette tapes, MR104ST-4, $12.00
25 lessons. 13 cassette tapes, RR416ST-13, $39.00

I John
15 lessons on the first epistle of John, plus a bonus lesson on the
incarnation. Rev. Rushdoony passed away before he could complete
this, his last sermon series.
16 lessons. 8 cassette tapes, RR419ST-8, $24.00

Theology
Systematic Theology (in two volumes)
By R. J. Rushdoony. Theology belongs in the pulpit, the school, the workplace, the family and everywhere. Society as
a whole is weakened when theology is neglected. Without a systematic application of theology, too often people
approach the Bible with a smorgasbord mentality, picking and choosing that which pleases them. This two-volume set
addresses this subject in order to assist in the application of the Word of God to every area of life and thought.
Hardback, 1301 pages, indices, $70.00

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42
Companion tape series to R. J. Rushdoony’s Systematic Theology The Doctrine of Salvation
These tape series represent just a few of the many topics represented in 20 lessons. 10 cassette tapes, RR408ST-10, $30.00
the above work. They are useful for Bible study groups, Sunday Schools,
etc. All are by Rev. R. J. Rushdoony. The Doctrine of the Church
30 lessons. 17 cassette tapes, RR401ST-17, $45.00
Creation and Providence
17 lessons. 9 cassette tapes, RR407ST-9, $27.00 The Theology of the Land
20 lessons. 10 cassette tapes, RR403ST-10, $30.00
The Doctrine of the Covenant
22 lessons. 11 cassette tapes, RR406ST-11, $33.00 The Theology of Work
19 lessons. 10 cassette tapes, RR404ST-10, $30.00
The Doctrine of Sin
22 lessons. 11 cassette tapes, RR409ST-11, $33.00 The Doctrine of Authority
19 lessons. 10 cassette tapes, RR402ST-10, $30.00

Infallibility and Interpretation Predestination in Light of the Cross


By Rousas John Rushdoony & P. Andrew Sandlin. By John B. King, Jr. The author defends the
The authors argue for infallibility from a distinctly predestination of Martin Luther while providing a
presuppositional perspective. That is, their arguments compellingly systematic theological understanding of
are unapologetically circular because they believe predestination. This book will give the reader a fuller
all ultimate claims are based on one’s beginning understanding of the sovereignty of God.
assumptions. The question of Biblical infallibility
Paperback, 314 pages, $24.00
rests ultimately in one’s belief about the character
of God. They believe man is a creature of faith, not,
Sovereignty
following the Enlightenment’s humanism, of reason. They affirm Biblical
By R. J. Rushdoony. The doctrine of sovereignty is a cru-
infallibility because the God Whom the Bible reveals could speak in
cial one. By focusing on the implications of God’s sover-
no other way than infallibly, and because the Bible in which God is
eignty over all things, in conjunction with the law-word
revealed asserts that God alone speaks infallibly. Men deny infallibility
of God, the Christian will be better equipped to engage
to God not for intellectual reasons, but for ethical reasons—they are
each and every area of life. Since we are called to live in
sinners in rebellion against God and His authority in favor of their own.
this world, we must bring to bear the will of our Sover-
The authors wrote convinced that only by a recovery of faith in an
eign Lord in all things. With clear prose and stimulating
infallible Bible and obedience to its every command can Christians
insights, Rushdoony will take you on a transforming journey into the
hope to turn back evil both in today’s church and culture.
fullness of the Kingdom of God, i.e., His goal for history.
Paperback, 100 pages, $6.00
Hardback, 519 pages, $40.00

The Lordship of Christ


By Arend ten Pas. The author shows that to limit Christ’s work in history to salvation and not to include lordship is destructive of the faith and leads
to false doctrine.
Booklet, 29 pages, $2.50

The Church Is Israel Now


By Charles D. Provan. For the last century, Christians have been told that God has an unconditional love for persons racially
descended from Abraham. Membership in Israel is said to be a matter of race, not faith. This book repudiates such a racialist
viewpoint and abounds in Scripture references which show that the blessings of Israel were transferred to all those who accept
Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Paperback, 74 pages, $12.00

The Guise of Every Graceless Heart


By Terrill Irwin Elniff. An extremely important and fresh study of Puritan thought in early America. On Biblical and theological
grounds, Puritan preachers and writers challenged the autonomy of man, though not always consistently.
Hardback, 120 pages, $7.00

The Great Christian Revolution


By Otto Scott, Mark R. Rushdoony, R.J. Rushdoony, John Lofton, and Martin Selbrede. A major work on the impact of Reformed
thinking on our civilization. Some of the studies, historical and theological, break new ground and provide perspectives previously
unknown or neglected.
Hardback, 327 pages, $22.00

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43
The Necessity for Systematic Theology
By R.J. Rushdoony. Scripture gives us as its underlying unity a unified doctrine of God and His order. Theology must be systematic to be true to the
God of Scripture.
Booklet (now part of the author’s Systematic Theology), 74 pages, $2.00

Keeping Our Sacred Trust


Edited by Andrew Sandlin. The Bible and the Christian Faith have been under attack in one way or another throughout much of
the history of the church, but only in recent times have these attacks been perceived within the church as a healthy alternative to
orthodoxy. This book is a trumpet blast heralding a full-orbed, Biblical, orthodox Christianity. The hope of the modern world is not a
passive compromise with passing heterodox fads, but aggressive devotion to the time-honored Faith “once delivered to the saints.”
Paperback, 167 pages, $19.00

Infallibility: An Inescapable Concept


By R.J. Rushdoony. “The doctrine of the infallibility of Scripture can be denied, but the concept of infallibility as such cannot be logically denied.
Infallibility is an inescapable concept. If men refuse to ascribe infallibility to Scripture, it is because the concept has been transferred to something
else. The word infallibility is not normally used in these transfers; the concept is disguised and veiled, but in a variety of ways, infallibility is ascribed
to concepts, things, men and institutions.”
Booklet (now part of the author’s Systematic Theology), 69 pages, $2.00

The Incredible Scofield and His Book


By Joseph M. Canfield. This powerful and fully documented study exposes the questionable background and faulty theology of
the man responsible for the popular Scofield Reference Bible, which did much to promote the dispensational system. The story
is disturbing in its historical account of the illusive personality canonized as a dispensational saint and calls into question the
seriousness of his motives and scholarship.
Paperback, 394 pages, $24.00

The Will of God or the Will of Man


By Mark R. Rushdoony. God’s will and man’s will are both involved in man’s salvation, but the church has split in answering the question, “Whose will
is determinative?”
Pamphlet, 5 pages, $1.00

Taking Dominion
Christianity and the State
By R.J. Rushdoony. You’ll not find a more concise statement of Christian government, nor a more precise critique of contemporary
statistm. This book develops tht Biblical view of the state against the modern state’s humanism and its attempts to govern all
spheres of life. Whether it be the influence of Greek thought, or the present manifestations of fascism, this dynamic volume will
provide you with a superb introduction to the subject. It reads like a collection of essays on the Christian view of the state and the
return of true Christian government.
Hardback, 192 pages, indices, $18.00

Tithing and Dominion


By Edward A. Powell and R.J. Rushdoony. God’s Kingdom covers all things in its scope, and its immediate ministry includes,
according to Scripture, the ministry of grace (the church), instruction (the Christian and homeschool), help to the needy (the
diaconate), and many other things. God’s appointed means for financing His Kingdom activities is centrally the tithe. This work
affirms that the Biblical requirement of tithing is a continuing aspect of God’s law-word and cannot be neglected. This book is
“must reading” as Christians work to take dominion in the Lord’s name.
Hardback, 146 pages, index, $12.00

Salvation and Godly Rule


By R.J. Rushdoony. Salvation in Scripture includes in its meaning “health” and “victory.” By limiting the meaning of salvation, men
have limited the power of God and the meaning of the Gospel. In this study R. J. Rushdoony demonstrates the expanse of the
doctrine of salvation as it relates to the rule of the God and His people.
Paperback, 661 pages, indices, $35.00

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44
A Conquering Faith
By William O. Einwechter. This monograph takes on the doctrinal defection of today’s church by providing Christians with an
introductory treatment of six vital areas of Christian doctrine: God’s sovereignty, Christ’s Lordship, God’s law, the authority of
Scripture, the dominion mandate, and the victory of Christ and His church in history. This easy-to-read booklet is a welcome
antidote to the humanistic theology of the 21st century church.
Booklet, 44 pages, $8.00

Noble Savages: Exposing the Worldview of Pornographers and Their War Against Christian Civilization
In this powerful book Noble Savages (formerly The Politics of Pornography) Rushdoony demonstrates that in order for modern
man to justify his perversion he must reject the Biblical doctrine of the fall of man. If there is no fall, the Marquis de Sade argued,
then all that man does is normative. Rushdoony concluded, “[T]he world will soon catch up with Sade, unless it abandons its
humanistic foundations.” In his conclusion Rushdoony wrote, “Symptoms are important and sometimes very serious, but it is very
wrong and dangerous to treat symptoms rather than the underlying disease. Pornography is a symptom; it is not the problem.”
What is the problem? It’s the philosophy behind pornography — the rejection of the fall of man that makes normative all that
man does. Learn it all in this timeless classic.
Paperback, 161 pages, $18.00

Toward a Christian Marriage


Edited by Elizabeth Fellerson. The law of God makes clear how important and how central marriage is. God the Son came into the world neither
through church nor state but through a family. This tells us that marriage, although nonexistent in heaven, is, all the same, central to this world.
We are to live here under God as physical creatures whose lives are given their great training-ground in terms of the Kingdom of God by marriage.
Our Lord stresses the fact that marriage is our normal calling. This book consists of essays on the importance of a proper Christian perspective on
marriage.
Hardback, 43 pages, $8.00

The Theology of the State


A tape series by R.J. Rushdoony. 37 lessons that are also from a portion of Rev. Rushdoony’s 2-volume Systematic Theology.
14 cassette tapes, RR405ST-14, $42.00

Roots of Reconstruction
By R.J. Rushdoony. This large volume provides all of Rushdoony’s Chalcedon Report articles from the beginning in 1965 to
mid-1989. These articles were, with his books, responsible for the Christian Reconstruction and theonomy movements. More
topics than could possibly be listed. Imagine having 24 years of Rushdoony’s personal research for just $20.
Hardback, 1124 pages, $20.00

A Comprehensive Faith
Edited by Andrew Sandlin. This is the surprise Festschrift presented to R.J. Rushdoony at his 80th birthday celebration in April,
1996. These essays are in gratitude to Rush’s influence and elucidate the importance of his theological and philosophical
contributions in numerous fields. Contributors include Theodore Letis, Brian Abshire, Steve Schlissel, Joe Morecraft III, Jean-
Marc Berthoud, Byron Snapp, Samuel Blumenfeld, Christine and Thomas Schirrmacher, Herbert W. Titus, Owen Fourie, Ellsworth
McIntyre, Howard Phillips, Joseph McAuliffe, Andrea Schwartz, David Estrada-Herrero, Stephen Perks, Ian Hodge, and Colonel
V. Doner. Also included is a forward by John Frame and a brief biographical sketch of R. J. Rushdoony’s life by Mark Rushdoony.
This book was produced as a “top-secret” project by Friends of Chalcedon and donated to Ross House Books. It is sure to be a
collector’s item one day.
Hardback, 244 pages, $23.00

The Church as God’s Armory


By Brian Abshire. What if they gave a war and nobody came? In the great spiritual battles of the last century, with the soul of
an entire culture at stake, a large segment of the evangelical church went AWOL. Christians retreated into a religious ghetto,
conceding the world to the Devil and hoping anxiously that the rapture would come soon and solve all their problems. But the
rapture did not come, and our nation only slid further into sin.
God’s people must be taught how to fight and win the battles ahead. In this small volume, you will discover how the church is
God’s armory, designed by Him to equip and train His people for spiritual war and prepare them for victory.
Booklet, 83 pages, $6.00

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45
Dominion-oriented tape series by Rev. R.J. Rushdoony Tape series by Rev. Douglas F. Kelly

The Doctrine of the Family Reclaiming God’s World


10 lessons that also form part of the author’s 2-volume Systematic 3 lessons on secularism vs. Christianity, restoration in the church, and
Theology. revival.
5 cassette tapes, RR410ST-5, $15.00 3 cassette tapes, DK106ST-3, $9.00

Christian Ethics
8 lessons on ethics, change, freedom, the Kingdom of God, dominion,
and understanding the future.
8 cassette tapes, RR132ST-8, $24.00

Eschatology
Thy Kingdom Come: Studies in Daniel and Revelation
By R.J. Rushdoony. First published in 1970, this book helped spur the modern rise of postmillennialism. Revelation’s details are
often perplexing, even baffling, and yet its main meaning is clear—it is a book about victory. It tells us that our faith can only
result in victory. “This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4). This is why knowing Revelation is so
important. It assures us of our victory and celebrates it. Genesis 3 tells us of the fall of man into sin and death. Revelation gives
us man’s victory in Christ over sin and death. The vast and total victory, in time and eternity, set forth by John in Revelation is too
important to bypass. This victory is celebrated in Daniel and elsewhere, in the entire Bible. We are not given a Messiah who is a
loser. These eschatological texts make clear that the essential good news of the entire Bible is victory, total victory.
Paperback, 271 pages, $19.00

Thine is the Kingdom: A Study of the Postmillennial Hope


Edited by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. Israel’s misunderstanding of eschatology eventually destroyed her by leading her to reject the
Messiah and the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven. Likewise, false eschatological speculation is destroying the church today,
by leading her to neglect her Christian calling and to set forth false expectations. In this volume, edited by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.,
the reader is presented with a blend of Biblical exegesis of key Scripture passages, theological reflection on important doctrinal
issues, and practical application for faithful Christian living. Thine is the Kingdom lays the scriptural foundation for a Biblically-based,
hope-filled postmillennial eschatology, while showing what it means to be postmillennial in the real world. The book is both
an introduction to and defense of the eschatology of victory. Chapters include contemporary writers Keith A. Mathison, William
O. Einwechter, Jeffrey Ventrella, and Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., as well as chapters by giants of the faith Benjamin B. Warfield and J.A.
Alexander.
Paperback, 260 pages, $22.00
God’s Plan for Victory
By R.J. Rushdoony. An entire generation of victory-minded Christians, spurred by the victorious postmillennial vision of
Chalcedon, has emerged to press what the Puritan Fathers called “the Crown Rights of Christ the King” in all areas of modern life.
Central to that optimistic generation is Rousas John Rushdoony’s jewel of a study, God’s Plan for Victory (originally published in
1977). The founder of the Christian Reconstruction movement set forth in potent, cogent terms the older Puritan vision of the
irrepressible advancement of Christ’s kingdom by His faithful saints employing the entire law-Word of God as the program for
earthly victory.
Booklet, 41 pages, $6.00

Eschatology
A 32-lesson tape series by Rev. R.J. Rushdoony. Learn about the meaning of eschatology for everyday life, the covenant and eschatology, the
restoration of God’s order, the resurrection, the last judgment, paradise, hell, the second coming, the new creation, and the relationship of
eschatology to man’s duty.
16 cassette tapes, RR411ST-16, $48.00

Biography
Back Again Mr. Begbie The Life Story of Rev. Lt. Col. R.J.G. Begbie OBE
This biography is more than a story of the three careers of one remarkable man. It is a chronicle of a son of old Christendom as a
leader of Christian revival in the twentieth century. Personal history shows the greater story of what the Holy Spirit can and does
do in the evangelization of the world.
Paperback, 357 pages, $24.00

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Year-End JCR Clearance Sale! 80% off the cover price on all
Journals of Christian Reconstruction while supplies last.
The Journal of Christian Reconstruction Vol. 12, No. 2: Symposium on the Biblical Text and Literature
The purpose of the Journal is to rethink every area of The God of the Bible has chosen to express Himself by both oral and
life and thought and to do so in the clearest possible written means. Together these means represent the sum total of
terms. The Journal strives to recover the great His revelation. This symposium is about the preservation of original,
intellectual heritage of the Christian Faith and is a infallible truth as handed down through generations in the words
leading dispenser of Christian scholarship. Each issue and texts of the human language. We have both God’s perseverance
provides in-depth studies on how the Christian Faith and man’s stewarding responsibility at issue when considering the
applies in modern life. A collection of the Journal preservation of truth in the text and words of the human language.
constitutes a reference library of seminal issues of our day. This symposium examines the implications of this for both sacred and
secular writings. $13.00
Vol. 2, No. 1: Symposium on Christian Economics
Vol. 13, No. 1: Symposium on Change in the Social Order
Medieval, Reformation, and contemporary developments, the causes
This volume explores the various means of bringing change to a social
of inflation, Manichaenism, law and economics, and much more.
order: revolution, education and economics. It also examines how
$13.00
Christianity, historically and doctrinally, impacts the social order and
Vol. 2, No. 2: Symposium on Biblical Law provides practical answers to man’s search from meaning and order
What Scripture tells us about law, the coming crisis in criminal in life. It concludes with a special report on reconstruction in action,
investigation, pornography, community, the function of law, and much which highlights the work of Reconstructionists at the grassroots level.
more. $13.00 $13.00
Vol. 5, No. 1: Symposium on Politics Vol. 13, No. 2: Symposium on the Decline and Fall of the West
Modern politics is highly religious, but its religion is humanism. and the Return of Christendom
This journal examines the Christian alternative. In addition to discussing the decline and fall of the West and the return
$13.00 of Christendom, this volume describes the current crisis, constitutional
law, covenant religion vs. legalism, and the implications of a Christian
Vol. 5, No. 2: Symposium on Puritanism and Law
world and life view. $13.00
The Puritans believed in law and the grace of law. They were not
antinomians. Both Continental and American Puritanism are studied. Vol. 14, No. 1: Symposium on Reconstruction
$13.00 in the Church and State
The re-emergence of Christian political involvement today is
Vol. 7, No. 1: Symposium on Inflation
spurred by the recognition not only that the Bible and Christian
Inflation is not only an economic concern but at root a moral problem.
Faith have something to say about politics and the state, but that
Any analysis of economics must deal also with the theological and
they are the only unmoveable anchor of the state. The articles in this
moral aspects as well. $13.00
symposium deal with the following subjects: the reconstructive task,
Vol. 10, No. 1: Symposium on the Media and the Arts reconstruction in the church and state, economics, theology, and
Christian reconstruction cannot be accomplished without expanding philosophy. $13.00
the Christian presence and influence in all branches of the media and
Vol. 14, No. 2: Symposium on the Reformation
the arts. $13.00
This symposium highlights the Reformation, not out of any polite
Vol. 10, No. 2: Symposium on Business antiquarian interest, but to assist our readers in the re-Christianization
This issue deals with the relationship of the Christian Faith to the world of modern life using the law of God as their instrument. This
of business. $13.00 symposium contains articles dealing with history, theology, exegesis,
philosophy, and culture. $13.00
Vol. 11, No. 1: Symposium on the Reformation in the Arts
and Media Vol. XV: Symposium on Eschatology
Christians must learn to exercise dominion in the area of the arts and Eschatology is not just about the future, but about God’s working in
media in order to fulfill their mandate from the Lord. Also included in history. Its relevance is inescapable. $19.00
this issue is a long and very important study of the Russian Orthodox
Vol. XVI: The 25th Anniversary Issue
Church before the Revolution. $13.00
Selected articles from 25 years of the Journal by R.J. Rushdoony,
Vol. 11, No. 2: Symposium on the Education of the Core Group Cornelius Van Til, Otto Scott, Samuel L. Blumenfeld, Gary North,
Christians and their children must again become a vital, determinative Greg Bahnsen, and others. $19.00
core group in the world. Education is an essential prerequisite and duty
if this is to be accomplished. $13.00
Vol. 12, No. 1: Symposium on the Constitution and
Political Theology
To understand the intent and meaning of the Constitution it is
necessary to recognize its presuppositions. $13.00

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Special Message Series by Rushdoony on Audio CDs!

A History of Modern Philosophy Economics, Money & Hope


1. Descartes & Modern Philosophy: The 1. How the Christian Will Conquer
Birth of Subjectivism Through Economics: The Problem and
2. Berkeley to Kant: The Collapse of the the Very Great Hope
Outer World 3. Money, Inflation, and Morality
3. Hegel to Marx to Dewey: The Creation of 4. The Trustee Family and Economics
a New World
4. Existentialism: The New God Creates His Own Nature (3 CDs) $24.00
5. Sade to Genet: The New Morality Postmillennialism in America
6. From Artisan to Artist: Art in the Modern Culture
7. The Impact of Philosophy on Religion: The Principle of Modernity 1. Postmillennialism in America:
8. The Implication of Modern Philosophy: The Will to Fiction A History, Part I
Postmillennialism in America:
(8 CDs) $64.00 A History, Part II
2. The Millennium: Now or Later?
Epistemology: The Christian The Second Coming of Christ:
Philosophy of Knowledge The Blessed Hope
1. Facts & Epistemology
2. Circular Reasoning (2 CDs - 2 lectures on each disc) $20.00
3. Facts & Presuppositions A Critique of Modern Education
4. Faith & Knowledge
5. Epistemological Man 1. Messianic Character of
6. Irrational Man American Education
7. Death of God & It’s Implications 2. The Influence of Socialism
8. Authority & Knowledge in American Education
9. Ultimate Authority 3. Intellectual Schizophrenia
10. A Valid Epistemology/Flight from Reality 4. Necessity for Christian Education

(10 CDs) $80.00 (4 CDs) $32.00

Apologetics English History


1. Apologetics I 1. John Wycliff
2. Apologetics II 2. King Richard III
3. Apologetics III 3. Oliver Cromwell
4. John Milton, Part I
(3 CDs) $24.00 5. John Milton, Part II
The Crown Rights of Christ the King (5 CDs) $40.00
1. Bringing Back the King
2. Over All Men
3. Over Church and State
4. Over Every Sphere of Life
5. The Fear of Victory
6. The Gospel According to St. Ahab

(6 CDs) $48.00

The United States Constitution


1. The U.S. Constitution: Original Intent
2. The U.S. Constitution: Changing Intent
3. The U.S. Constitution Changed
4. The U.S. Constitution and The People

(4 CDs) $32.00

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